Kampala, Uganda | URN | Traders in Kampala have asked the government to lobby for free interest loans for their businesses that were affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
In March, President Museveni issued several measures to combat the spread of the virus.
They included restrictions on the movement of people including use of public or private vehicles, motorcycles and directed closure of all shopping malls, arcades, hardware shops, saloons and lodges.
Mike Opolot a trader dealing in shoes says that he is stranded and frustrated over loss of business. He says that they are finding it hard to sell their stock.
Moses Babalanda, who sells shoes at Skylight Arcade says traders have incurred big losses and thus cannot pay off their loans. He wants the government to request banks to restructure loan payments.
Bashir Muwonge, LCI chairperson Shauriyako zone says the government should provide them with interest-free loans through injecting more funds in microfinance institutions which traders can easily access.
The Chairperson of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), Everest Kayondo, says that the government should use part of the 1.9 trillion shillings from the International Monetary Fund to support traders to recover from the losses suffered.
The money was approved under the Rapid Credit Facility program that is meant to help poor countries pick up pieces after being affected by the virus.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainties with the public calling on commercial banks to restructure loan payments at a time when many companies have suspended work and sent most staff home.
Last month, President Museveni said that the government will discuss with the banks to ensure that people aren’t forced to pay interest for the period they weren’t working.