Kenneth Ayebare, the Chairman of Uganda Cargo Consolidators Association, a group of logistics companies that transport for smaller or group importers, says business has recently gone down. They suspect some importers are holding onto their money until they are sure of the business environment.
are torn between closing their during the election period or staying on to make
a little more money amid uncertainties as to how the next few weeks will
be. Many are convinced that there will be violence in the city as some
people might take advantage of the election events, having gone through chaotic
scenes in November last year.
people were killed and several others injured mostly in Kampala, as security
forces tried to quell riots that followed the arrest of two opposition politicians
on allegations of violating COVID-19 containment measures. The
Kampala Arcades Advocacy Forum, an association of traders operating from
arcades and other buildings in the city center, said then that they lost at
least six members despite not being part of the protests.
The leaders have been urging their members and other city dwellers to avoid
acts that put trade and their lives at risk and urged politicians against
activities that may incite especially unemployed youths.
Many traders are also hopeful that, from the recent experience, security will
prepare early and well enough to ensure a peaceful election period.
This time around, the Spokesman, Muzamiru Kwebiiha says that they are assured that
there will not be violence during the period. There is a mixed situation
regarding the stocking of merchandises in the shops, with some shops fully
stocked while others are almost empty.
Some traders say they have decided to withdraw their goods from the shelves for
safety until they are sure of the stability in the city while some other shops
remain fully stocked. Others say even customers are holding onto their
money, meaning that the daily sales have also gone down.
Those with stocks say they are waiting to see what happens
in the next few days before deciding whether to close their shops or reduce
their stocks, adding that these stocks have lasted for long as the impact of COVID-19
on customers continues to persist.
// Cue in: “Nga bwetwazze….
Cue out:… “naye tebaakoze.”//
There is also fear that there could be a scarcity of imports over the next
few weeks with logistics companies, saying they expect businesses to go
down. Most of the fast-running household and personal items and garment
are imported from China, with many importers also shopping from Dubai, in the
United Arab Emirates.
Kenneth Ayebare, the Chairman of Uganda Cargo Consolidators Association, a
group of logistics companies that transport for smaller or group importers,
says business has recently gone down. They suspect some importers are
holding onto their money until they are sure of the business environment.
Many others had made orders earlier on fears that China might close for its lunar
holiday this week, instead of the usual February, due to the upsurge in new
cases of COVID-19. Ayebare says that even those that had already made
orders and were waiting for deliveries are telling the logistics companies to
first hold onto the goods.
//Cue in: “most of the traders….
Cue out:…their lunar holiday.”//
Importers, however, say the importance of Dubai as Uganda’s source of imports has
been ebbing in recent years, with more and more traders now shopping directly
from China. Asked about why they are worried about China, Ayebare, who is also
the Chief Executive of Marine Time Cargo, says Dubai and other countries can no
longer sustain supplies for Uganda, considering what happened when china went
into a lockdown.