Vendors are counting losses after a fire gutted a section of Nakiwogo Market in Entebbe municipality.
Three vendors say the fire started on Saturday at 3am, destroying two retail shops, a workshop for repairing fridges and nearby stalls. As a result, general merchandise such as exercise books, boxes of soap, sachets and jerricans of cooking oil, detergent, sacks of sugar, rice, cartons of baking flour among others were destroyed.
Police officers at Nakiwogo Police Post say they are still investigating the source of the fire.
Musa Kaweesa, the chairman Nakiwogo Market, however says vendors who rushed to the scene around 3:10am noticed that the fire started from the workshop, which had several electronics.
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Mukasa estimates that the affected vendors have lost over shillings 60million. Two of the most affected vendors have been identified as Harriet Namayanja, owner of the retail shop and Hajji Bilali, a refrigerator mechanic.
Kaweesa and other vendors thanked fire and rescue team from Entebbe International Airport for extinguishing the fire within an hour.
Mukasa however says the police officers should have cordoned off the scene because some people masquerading as good Samaritans stole whatever goods were rescued from burning shops or those that were near the burning shops.
When our reporter visited the scene, a distressed Kawooya sat in front of her empty shop. She was inconsolable because all items were stolen after they were removed from the shop.
Richard Ssekyondo, the chairman Division B, Entebbe Municipality, says two vendors called him at 3am to tell him about the fire. "I then called the Entebbe DPC and then contacted Entebbe Airport fire and rescue commandant and the team was at the scene within ten minutes. They put off the fire in thirty minutes but most of the shops and items inside had already been destroyed," said Ssekyondo.
Ssekyondo adds "We are happy that no life was lost. But I am appealing to the government and well-wishers to help the affected vendors."