Muslims in Masaka today blocked Badru Bbaale, the owner of Smart Shoppers supermarket from attending noon prayers at Masaka Central Mosque accusing him of opening up for business in defiance of a traders strike.
Muslims in Masaka today blocked Badru Bbaale, the owner of Smart Shoppers supermarket from attending noon prayers at Masaka Central Mosque accusing him of opening up for business in defiance of a traders strike. Yesterday, over 1000 traders in Masaka resolved to close their businesses to express solidarity with Kampala traders to protest the weakening shillings and runaway inflation.
Bbale closed his supermarket on the first day of the strike but resumed business this morning to the annoyance of several traders. However, Bbale met stiff resistance when he showed up at Masaka central mosque to perform the noon prayers. Bbale who was dressed in a white tunic and Muslim headgear entered the mosque when Sheikh Ali Kivumbi Kabogoza, the Nyendo Mosque Imam was preaching about the traders’ strike.
Sheikh Kivumbi tasked Bbaale to explain why he defied the traders sit down strike and opened for business. No sooner had Bbale responded than other Muslims started shouting ordering him to leave the mosque because of betrayal.
Sheikh Kivumbi told Bbaale that he himself shut down his shop in Nyendo because he was equally affected by rising taxes and inflation.
He explained that the defiance by Bbaale to close his business means he does not share in their suffering yet the strike was meant to demonstrate to government their suffering because of its reluctance to check its exorbitant expenditures. Kivumbi blamed other traders like Bbaale who defied the strike and said their acts sent a bad signal. Some Muslims shouted at Bbaale and threatened not to buy anything from his super market if he does not close shop.
Hassan Osama one of the Muslims explained that it was embarrassing to see smart shoppers open while all other businesses were closed. As a result of Muslims outbursts, Bbaale who looked embarrassed just matched out of the Mosque and disappeared. He declined to comment on the matter. He immediately entered his car and drove off to his super market. He however did not close it.
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