City Businesses Suffer as Makerere Remains Closed
It’s two weeks since President Yoweri Museveni ordered the closure of Makerere University Uganda on 1st of this month during his visit in Luwero.
This came following a week ofstrikes by students who were demanding for the turn up of lecturers who had opted for asit-down strike in demand for about UGX 36 billion allowance arrears.
The week wasmarred with tear gas and military police deployed to disperse the rowdy students who according to police damaged property in the university.
Museveni then issued an impromptu letter calling for an immediate closure of the institution and all students were required to leave by mid-day.
Barber and Saloon shops
James Ssenoga a barber in Makerere Kikoni said that his daily income of UGX 15, 000 has reduced to UGX 3, 000 following the closure of the institution.
“I was receiving about 20 to 30 clients daily and these majorly were students from Makerere. I now receive about 5 to 6 clients’ per day,” Ssenoga said.
He urged thegovernment to think about people’s businesses because they lose a lot in tax collection from Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) yet they are receiving fewer clients.
“We are paying over UGX 100, 000 as operation fee at KCCA and URA has various requirements we have to fulfill before we open up our businesses. All these should be considered,” Ssenoga added.
Milly Mirembe, a hairdresser in Makerere Kivulu told The Giraffe Times that majority of her clients were students and she registered about 10 clients per day.
She also added that following the closure of the institution, many of her clients who were international students were forced to leave the country and she now almost collects nothing for that matter.
Ritah Najjuma and Phionah Nantambi are partners in a restaurant operating along Kasubi road in Makerere Kikoni said they are making more losses since the closure of the institution.
They added that they were feeding students from 2 big hostels in the area that is Kana and Olympia hostels earning them about UGX 100, 000 profit daily but this dented following the shutdown.
“We have loans that we thought we could pay in time because of the number of clients we were having. But following the closure we fear our property might be taken up by creditors,” Najjuma said.
Joshua Sentamu a motorist (BODA BODA) said that the closure of business at MUK retarded businesses in the area as many of his clients left following the shutdown.
However, he called on thegovernment to consider how the closure has affected people directly and indirectly within the area and lift the closure as soon as possible.
What parents say
John Mugisha a parent of a first-year student said that any parent cannot like the situation at Makerere, adding that it is unfair most especially to students who pay tuition to acquire knowledge but at the end of the day they get nothing.
“The management and the government should check themselves, sit around the table and discuss the matters and have our children back in class,” he pleaded.