Kampala, Uganda |URN | Ever since the presidential order on lifting the lockdown of businesses operating in malls while keeping those in arcades shut, there has been a sustained debate on both main stream and social media platforms of the difference between the two.
People have used nature of the occupants and the kind of businesses they operate to differentiate between the two while others have intimated that some buildings are malls only in name but arcades in reality.
But Amelia Kyambadde, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives said malls are more spacious with shops measuring up to 40 square centimetres with ample and convenient space for parking while shops in the arcades measure about 20 square centimetres, are sub rented and have neither corridors nor parking space for vehicles.
Kyambadde added that malls have one person per shop, have two entrances, security guards, cameras, fire equipment and are not crowded among others while arcades are the exact opposite hence making social distancing rules almost impossible.
She listed Acacia Mall, Village Mall, Imperial Mall, Metroplex Mall, Oasis Mall, Garden City Mall, Kingdom Kampala Mall, Shoprite, (Lugogo Mall), Victoria Mall and Marigold, as the examples of malls in Kampala while Mutaasa Kafeero, Ggaliraaya, Energy Center, Kizito Arcade, Arua Park Arcade, Nalubwama Arcade, Nabukeera Arcade, and Qualicell as examples of arcades in Kampala.
She added that during their research before they recommended the stay of the reopening of the arcades, they observed so many things that need to be done to improve the working condition of people in arcades if they are to stop the spread of coronavirus virus disease.
Kyambadde however added that shops on the ground floor of the arcades that can observe the social distancing rules are free to reopen. She also added that any merchandise shop which is not within an arcade too is free to reopen provided too observes the Ministry of Health Standard Operating Procedures.
On the issue of rent, Kyambadde said they have been engaging with landlords and leaders of the traders to harmonize their positions. She said some landlords are willing to forego one month of rent while others insist that the traders must pay for all the months that they have spent while not working due to the lockdown.
“We shall be meeting the President and that issue of rent is high on the agenda,” Kyambadde said.