Mukono RDC Orders Closure of Major Markets Over Presidential Directives

The decision taking effect tomorrow has been reached after the district task force making several engagements with the market leadership to maintain vendor to vendor four-metre distance and limiting numbers of buyers turning up in big numbers on top of vendors rejecting to sleep at work places.
07 Apr 2020 16:43
A section of Kame valley market deaing in agricultural produces. The market is located at Mukono Central Divison.

Audio 3

Mukono District COVID19 Task Force Chaired by the Resident District Commissioner, Fred Bamwiine has ordered the closure of Kame Valley and Katosi landing site markets for alleged failure to comply with the Corona virus prevention guidelines.  

The decision that takes effect on Wednesday was reached following several engagements between the market leadership and COVID19 Task Force to enforce the four meter social distancing and compelling the vendors to stay in the markets for the 14 day lock down announced by President, Yoweri Museveni in vain.   

According to Bamwine, the failure by the market leadership to enforce the directives exposes people to the corona virus infection.       

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Luganda Byte.

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During his sixth televised address on the Corona pandemic, president, Yoweri Museveni allowed food markets to continue operation under strict conditions that they observe the social distance as guided by the Health Ministry and provide hand washing facilities. He also directed vendors to stay in the market for the two week’s lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.   

Although the management of Kame Valley market has managed to space the vendors, they have failed to enforce the required social distancing. Kame valley and Katosi markets are among the key markets in district as they serve the biggest number of residents. 

Kame serves almost the entire populace of Mukono central division and the surrounding areas with various agricultural produce. It is also a source of produce for roadside vendors. Katosi landing site market, which seats on the shores of Lake Victoria is a collection center for produce from different places including Kkoome sub county islands and the mainland. 

It supplies food and produce to scattered island sub counties on Lake Victoria were less farming is practiced. They include among others Lyabaana, Lubya and Lwajje, which forms part of Buvuma district. Jackson Mwebaza, a fish monger in Katosi Landing Site Market, says it is hard for them to sleep in market since they work in shifts. 

He explains that those working night hours don’t work day time, adding that once they decide to sleep in the market they would cause congestion. Geoffrey Sserunjogi, the Kame Valley Market Chairperson, notes that sometimes they are challenged by the big number of buyers though they have been allowing a few to enter after washing hands at the 23 hand washing points in different corners of the market.     

He blames the RDC for seating in his office and pass decisions before confirming what is happening on the ground but depending on incompetent informers. Sserunjogi also reveals that the task force committee failed to approve their request of providing security to vendors to start sleeping at the market. 

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George William Ssemakula, a resident near the market says management established hand washing centers but they are insufficient.