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By Brenda S. Aanyu

On 4th May, 2020, the president addressed the nation by giving updates on Covid-19 situation in the country, he talked of which procedures he was taking to lift the lockdown and at the end partially eased the lockdown by adding some businesses in the list of the essential workers.

There were specific businesses that were allowed to operate and among them were insurance providers, warehouses, car garages, wholesale shops, markets, restaurants, hardware shops, metal and wood workshops.

The news was received with excitement by a specific group of business people who had got the opportunity to be listed among the essential workers.

However, it seems the public did not get a clear picture of who was allowed to operate which left many people stranded in Kampala city yesterday when they went to open up their shops and could not be allowed to operate.

The police were seen having battling with owners of hardware shops at Kisseka market claiming that they were not among the shops that the president had directed to resume work.

On seeing all this happening, Amelia Kyambadde, Minister of Trade, industry and cooperatives had to clarify the businesses that are allowed to operate and what standard operative measures they should follow.

“Since garages have been allowed to operate, spare parts shops are also to be opened to supply the necessary equipment. However, standard operating procedures must be adhered to in managing all operation,” said Kyambade.

To clarify more, she said that only wholesale shops dealing in essential products like medicines, food stuffs, veterinary shops and agriculture products are allowed to operate.

Recently, the shop owners were seen complaining that they had not worked for a long period of time and did not have money to clear the rent arrears. They were appealing to the landlords to pardon them of the months they had not worked because they were not operating in the premises.

On the issue concerning the rent of the premises that people are operating on, the president was clear that people should pay the landlords the rent although but also encouraged the landlords not to evict the tenants but be patient with them until they are in position to pay up the rent owed to them.


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