Authorities in Kampala on Saturday issued more stringent directives on reopening of Arcades in Kampala despite the relaxation of the social gathering limitations by President Museveni last Friday.
KCCA leaders told a news conference arcade owners require a certificate of compliance with Covid SOPS before they are allowed to reopen.
Their address came in the wake of the lifting of the partial lifting of lockdown by the president on Friday July 30, where he among others directed for reopening of Arcades, Kikubo and other trading centres.
Museveni said that; Kikuubo, arcades, and other business centers, can open on condition that certain measures are fulfilled such as; compliance to all SOPs, presence of compliance officers, clearing of corridors and access ways, installing CCTV cameras where they are absent among others.
“Only those arcades that conform to the above guidelines will be allowed to open. In addition, failure to conform to any of the above will lead to closure,” he said.
Kyoratogabye Kabuye, the Minister of State for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan area said that before reopening, all the buildings must be inspected to ensure that they observe the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Husein Hudu, the Kampala Resident City Commissioner on Monday today revealed that the arcades do not qualify to be opened.
“Our arcades by nature have stockpiles, the walkways are blocked. We have passages where some arcade landlords have put temporary structures, with mobile money units that have blocked the pathways, thereby congesting the place, affecting ventilation and aeration,” he said adding,
“Therefore, we thought that unless these are adhered to, we are not going to issue any arcade owner a certificate of compliance,”
Hudu noted that during the 42 days of the partial lockdown, traders and landlords were asked to remove the shop extensions, and clear the blocked ways, which they failed to do.
He further said that within a space of 7 days, a resolution to open will be reached.
“We have agreed that we are going to use the 7 days between today and Sunday. If there’s any arcade that is going to be open, it must first receive a certificate of compliance from the Directorate Of Public Health headed by Dr. Daniel Okello of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) with his team.”
Adding, “And, we have a checklist for monitoring whether at every entrance of an arcade there’s a temperature gun with someone committed to capture and record the temperature of every entrant, ensuring that there’s a hand washing facility. All these must be followed.”
However, Godfrey Katongole, Chairman of Kampala Arcade Traders Association (KATA) asked for the immediate opening of arcades, saying that SOPs are best adhered to when traders are already working.
“We can only adhere to SOPs when we are working. If we are not doing business, we can’t adhere to them. Opening shops that are outside and leaving the arcades closed isn’t fair,” he said.
He said that to limit the spread of infections, they have secured megaphones and have partnered with various companies that manufacturers sanitizers and masks to distribute them to the population at lower costs.
Traders under their umbrella body the Kampala Capital City Traders Association (KACITA) were by publication of this article holding engagement meeting with some traders at their offices.