Traders in Masaka town have abandoned their shops and resorted to vending their merchandise on the streets as the Christmas shopping frenzy reaches its climax.
Traders in Masaka town have abandoned their shops and resorted to vending their merchandise on the streets as the Christmas shopping frenzy reaches its climax. The streets occupied by the traders include Edward Avenue, Elgin Street, Hobart and Yellow Line. Others are Villa Road in Nyendo, Cathedral Road in Kitovu and Total Highway.
The merchandise ranges from fresh foods such as Bananas, sweet potatoes, coco yams, beans to kitchen utensils, clothes and chicken amongst others. Emmanuel Matovu, a vendor of Onions has moved over 30 bags of onions to Edward Avenue in Masaka town. Matovu explains that he decided to relocate to the street because his customers no longer want to go to his shop in Nyendo.
He is happy that his decision to relocate has paid off as he has already sold over 60 KG of onions which he says is good business. Matovu says that he says he sells the onions to whole sellers from as far as Kyanamukaka, Buwunga and Masaka town. 15-year-old Paul Kayanja has also relocated some of his shoes from Hobart Street to Edward Avenue.
He deals in open shoes that he sells between 2500 shillings to 4000shillings. Kyanja explains that his father moved some of their shoes to the streets because customers no longer visit his shop. He says he has decided to keep the prices as a low as possible to attract customers.
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But not all traders have earned big from moving their merchandise to the street. Jovan Kasozi, a general merchandise dealer says despite moving his commodities on the streets on Wednesday by last evening he had just sold a handful of items.
Kasozi, who traveled all the way from Lyantonde to Masaka town, says he has never seen such a poverty filled Christmas. Kasozi says he reduced the price of packed sugar from 6000shillings 5000shillings a KG and 4500shillings to 4000shillimgs a KG for unpacked sugar but there are no customers.
He says he is worried he might fail to get money for transport back to Lyantonde where he came from. Several customers say lack of money and lack of value for the local currency has seriously frustrated their shopping. Joseph Kaweesa, a resident of Masaka claims that last Christmas she used 50,000shillings to buy a lot of goods for his family of three.
Kaweesa however says with 50000shillings, he can’t buy the same thing things this Christmas because the shilling has depreciated. Mariam Tusiime, another resident says this year’s Christmas in going to be miserable because most people are extremely poor.
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Traders and economists describe this year’s Christmas as the most expensive festive season because of the high inflation rate being experienced in the country. Recent figures from Uganda Bureau of Static’s put the country’s inflation level to 13 percent.
vendors relocate to streets