June 3, 2013

Traders Complain of Low Sales as Pilgrims Continue to Stream into Namugongo

They were allocated space off Kyaliwajala road, which they say has made it difficult for pilgrims to access their stalls.

Traders and Pilgrims Namugongo Matyrs' Shrine
Traders and Pilgrims Namugongo Matyrs’ Shrine

The strict security guidelines put in place by police at Namungongo martyrs shrines have hit hard traders who hoped to cash in during this year’s Marty’s day celebrations. Several vendors interviewed by our Reporter  say they have recorded poor sales owing to the restrictions imposed by police. Unlike the previous celebrations, the vendors were blocked from accessing the main martyr’s shrines.

They were allocated space off Kyaliwajala road, which they say has made it difficult for pilgrims to access their stalls. Aidah Bamujuga is a second hand cloth dealer. Bamujuga says that business has not been good because they were blocked from accessing the main shrine. She wonders whether she will be able to recoup what she invested in her business. Fatuma Meserch, a food vendor also complains of poor sales. Meserch sells a plate of food between 1000 and 2500 shillings.

She however, says that only a few pilgrims have bought her food. Meserch explains that during the previous martyr’s day celebrations she sold one and half bag of sweet potatoes, but this time around she has not even sold a half. She blames the poor sales on the police restrictions and biting poverty. Emma Tusubira is a student on holiday. Tusubira vends merchandise during the celebrations to raise some money to supplement on the scholastic materials provided by his parents.

Tusubira, who is selling biscuits, says business has not been good this time around. According to Tusubuira, the place were restricted to operate from has greatly affected their sales. Tusubira says his hopes for making more sales are fast fading away as the main celebrations are coming to a close.

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