A team of police officers led by Mbale District Police Commander, Fred Ahimbisbwe deployed in the morning to prevent vendors from entering the market in line with the directives from the COVID19 District Task force.
There were running
battles between Police and vendors protesting the closure of Mbale Central
Market on Tuesday morning.
A team of police officers led by Mbale
District Police Commander, Fred Ahimbisbwe deployed in the morning to prevent
vendors from entering the market in line with the directives from the COVID19
District Task force.
On Monday, the Mbale District Taskforce chaired by the Resident District
Commissioner, Sulaiman Barasa Ogajo decided to close the market until Thursday
on grounds that the vendors had failed to comply with the presidential
directives aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID19.
This morning, a number
of fresh food vendors tried to access the market only to find it heavy police
protection. The vendors wanted to continue working, saying the closure of the
market will affect their livelihood.
Rogers Taitika , the
Elgon Region Police Spokesperson, says the vendors were warned against coming
to the market but they insisted and tried to operate forcefully prompting
police to repulse them.
He says police had to fire teargas and live bullets to
disperse the vendors.
//Cue in: “FE nga
Cue out:…okuma ebintu byaabwe”//
Bashir Wamono, a fruit dealer in Mbale Central market, says the closure of the
market was very abrupt, arguing that the authorities could have first warned
//Cue in: “Enyanya zigende….
Joel Madanda, another vendor says they had come early to remove their
merchandise from the market to save it from rotting.
Mzee Abdul Wekoye is worried that his lemons and oranges that he had just
ferried to the market will rot during the lock down.
He wants the
authorities to rescind their decisions since the vendors have now learnt from
their mistakes and promise to follow the guidelines.
//Cue in: “Kati teyinza kutambula….
Cue out:…eteeka liba teeka”//
While announcing a
countrywide lockdown, President, Yoweri Museveni listed a raft of preventive
measures against the corona pandemic including enforcement of social
distancing, hand washing with soap and water or alcohol based sanitisers.
threatened to close several markets including Kalerwe and Busega citing the
failure by the vendors to implement the corona virus preventive measures.