By Ronald Orachwun
Nebbi district security committee has banned hawkers and directed them to cease operations with immediate effect in an attempt to curb spread of the contagious corona virus in the area.
According to a security sources who declined to be named, a number of traders from Nebbi central market and other non-food shops within the central business district of Nebbi have evolved into hawkers and are currently making risky door to door deliveries of their products to their clients, in the wake of the presidential directive ordering for immediate closure of non-food selling shops.
In his directive two months ago, President Yoweri Museveni ordered closure of non-food stores and allowed shops selling agricultural products, but a number of the traders have continued to defy the directive.
Rachael Frances Adhyango, the deputy Resident district commissioner Nebbi says they have since established that many of the hawkers who have invaded parts of Nebbi central business district are actually traders who emerged from non-food stores in the area while some have come as far as the outskirts of Nebbi municipality who are looking for a way to continue selling their products following the presidential directive.
“We have reliable information that some of the hawkers have been secretly dealing in products like; clothes, home utensils, shoes and food stuffs, and have been traversing several homes making door to door deliveries, hence interacting with a number of people. This has gone on for some time now”, she said.
Last month President Museveni gave a green light to boda boda riders to make home deliveries of food stuffs, but Rachael Frances Adhyango, the deputy Resident district commissioner Nebbi says some people are going against the directive with some who have merged as hawkers, which they will not allow to continue.
She announced the ban on hawking on Wednesday in a bid to reduce human contacts, as the district corona virus task force moves to eliminate avenues through which COVID-19 can be transmitted.
“We have hence forth directed that all hawking businesses should stop with immediate effect until government comes up with measures to lift the lockdown. Until then no hawker should be seen within the central business district. We know times are hard but the lock down is for the good of us all and we can’t allow a few people who cannot be patient to contaminate the air for us”, she said.
However Opio Jatex Janega the chairperson Nebbi market vendors’ association castigates the decision of the security committee to ban hawkers arguing that a lot of businesses have dynamics in which they operate including door to door deliveries in order to keep relevant.
“All businesses have dynamics. Most of our traders especially those dealing in non-food stuffs can easily carry their products and move around. I think we should appreciate the dynamics because some of these products are really necessary in these trying times”, he said.
By Ronald Orachwun