BY KETRAH JJEMBA
LANDLORDS who own arcades in Kampala have insisted, they will go on and open their arcades showing willingness to defy Covid-19 directives given by State minister in charge of Kampala Kabuye Kyofatogabye commonly known as Kyoofa!
They said, banks from where they got loans to construct these arcades want their money and if arcades remain closed, they might easily lose their buildings to these banks.
“We haven’t been collecting rent yet banks want their money. Why do you complicate things? Do you want us to lose our buildings? If you don’t want to listen to us, we will open for our tenants so that they also save their businesses.” Vowed defiant landlords.
They said, there is no more time to waste in implementing such complicated Covid-19 directives yet they can be implemented while businesses are on going.
“In the period of 42 lock down days, we have made losses and so did our tenants. Enough is enough, we can’t remain closed. We are grateful to his Excellency the President for opening kindly beg the minister be considerate and allow us to open as we put in place the presidential directives. Building these arcades is not like building a boys’ quarter, Let the minister be reminded!” Said one of the arcade owners who asked for anonymity.
Tycoon Mansoor Matovu Yanga told this news website that, “Those coming to test people should come quickly, as well as those who are in charge of the inspection. The arcades are not going away. They will find us open.”
Bagagga Kwagalana Chairman Godfrey Kirumira had this to say, “Arcades should be left to open because landlords and renants have suffered a lot during the lockdown. By the way, how can you supervise them when they are closed?”
Earlier, Minister Kyoofa had asked traders to stay home until their workplaces are assessed and allowed to operate.
His directive was a result of president Miseveni’s National address in which the Head of State okayed Kikuubo and Arcades to open under strict guidelines.
A day later, minister Kyoofa said traders in Kampala will have to postpone reopening until an assessment is made.
Meanwhile, arcade owners also allsayed fears that they intend to exploit their tenants, citing that they will allow tenants to resume work and pay in installments until they are stable.
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