Ugandan traders begin two-day strike

2011-07-06 12:57
Kampala - Ugandan merchants on Wednesday closed their shops in the capital, Kampala, for a two-day strike against rising prices and an erratic foreign exchange rate, prompting the government to deploy police throughout the city.

Media reports also said outlets have been closed in other communities, including the south-western opposition stronghold of Masaka.

Merchants say they oppose government policies that allow foreigners, including many Chinese and Indian traders, to operate in Uganda.

Businessmen of the over-25 000-strong Kampala City Traders Association (Kacita) also complain that the government has not intervened against rising fuel prices, which they say has pushed up the prices of essential commodities to levels customers cannot afford.

"Kacita considers the following issues, amongst other, as pertinent in the economy; high exchange rates, high taxes, high prices, government expenditure, investment pattern, license, and foreigners engaging in petty trade," Kacita chairperson Everest Kayondo said in a statement.

"Government intervention is required in the foreign exchange market to control the upswing in the foreign exchange," he added.

President Yoweri Museveni, re-elected for another five-year term in February, has been facing a series of violent opposition-led protests, mostly over the rising cost of living in the East African state.

Peaceful demonstration

Over a one-month period, the price of sugar has risen by nearly 100%, to nearly $2 per kilogram. Prices have also skyrocketed for other commodities, like rice and grain.

Anti-riot police and other armed security groups have been deployed in Kampala, its suburbs and in other towns to quell any possible outbreak of violence.

In April and May, protests led by the political opposition over the high cost of living were violently crushed when authorities used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. A number of people were killed and scores injured.

"All people involved in business and trade have closed their shops. We as leaders are ready for any eventuality. We expect the government not act like a rebel government," Mubarak Ntale, Kacita deputy spokesperson told the German Press Agency dpa.

"Since this is a peaceful demonstration, we do not expect the demonstrators to be mistreated by the police. Our demonstration is to express what we are going through, especially the escalating prices."

Read more on:    yoweri museveni  |  uganda  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.