Traders in Katuna border town are protesting the closure of their businesses by the authorities. On Wednesday Katuna town council authorities launched a joint operation with police targeting businesses operating under poor sanitary conditions. They closed several business premises without toilets and those operating under an unhygienic environment.
Sunday Eric, the town clerk Katuna town council says that they decided to mount the operation after issuing several warnings to the traders to improve the sanitary conditions at their work place. He says that in the operation they closed about 20 eating places that were found operating in a very dirty environment. But the decision by the authorities to close their businesses didn’t go down well with members of the business community.
They accused the authorities of failing to give them ample time to sell off the food they had already prepared leading to heavy losses. Jolly Mashomero, whose eating joint was closed, accuses the authorities of being inconsiderate saying that were not given any notice. She says that they have suffered huge losses as a result of the operation. Hilary Betonde, a businessman faults the authorities for closing his shop because the building he has been operating from lacks sanitary facilities instead of arresting the land lord.
Sylvia Kusiima, a chapatti vendor says that she had started preparing her chapattis when the law enforcement team swung in action and closed her shop. She advises the authorities to compel the building owners to construct toilets for their tenants. Shortly after the operation, the affected traders pitch camped at the town council offices to plead with the authorities to open their businesses in van.
Lauben Tumwesigye, the Health Inspector Katuna blames the tenants for having sheepishly accepted to pay rent for structures which have no toilets. Matthias Besigye, the Katuna Town Council chief law enforcement officer says that the operation is ongoing until when the traders improve their working environment.