By Jumah Nsubuga
The police boss Gen Kale Kayihura has issued a statement on the increase of police officials in the city.
In the document dated 25th June 2013 , Gen Kayihura noted that this has been done following reports of planned unlawful, and violent activities, partly linked to the decision by KACITA (Kampala City Traders Association) to implement their threat to close shops.
He says that, they are protesting the ongoing efforts by the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, Hon Amelia Kyambadde, to address the concerns of traders on the new programme requiring pre-shipment inspection of imported goods in the countries of origin, before they enter into the Ugandan market.
“This programme is intended to stop importation of substandard goods which have been flooding the Ugandan market to the disadvantage of the consumers and the general public. So it is a good and essential programme for the country which everybody including KACITA should embrace and support” The IGP noted in the statement
“We are aware that the Hon Minister has twice in less than a week met the executive committee of KACITA, the last meeting having been held, on Monday, 24th June 2013, in the afternoon, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Trade. We are aware that progress has been made in those meetings, and another meeting is scheduled for Monday, 1 July, 2013. In those meetings, which Police has attended, the Hon Minister exhibited flexibility, and was quite sympathetic, and receptive to the suggestions of the KACITA leadership.” He added.
Police says that there is no reason for KACITA to resort to this extreme measure of closing shops, and causing inconveniences, both to the traders, and consumers.
” In any case, while we cannot stop an individual trader from closing his/her shop, we shall not tolerate anybody who obstructs, intimidates or in any other way stops traders who wish to keep their shops open.” The IGP says in a statement
He has urged the KACITA leadership to continue with dialogue at the negotiating table, with the Minister of Trade and her team, and avoid unlawful activities aimed at disrupting normal life in the City and surrounding areas.
He also said that police has landed on the evil plans by certain individuals, and groups to cause chaos in the City and the country, opportunistically, taking advantage of situations such as the current one (KACITA/Ministry of Trade standoff.
“We caution the youth who are being mobilized, and deceived to engage in violent and unlawful activities in the City and surrounding areas. You should refuse to be used by individuals/groups that have dangerous agendas against our country. It is not in your interest. In any case, you will be held individual liable for any breaches of the law that you engage in” Kayihura said.
He further assured the business community, in particular, and the public in general, that the security agencies led by the Police shall ensure your security as you go about your business.