The aftermath of Ugandan Martyrs Day Celebrations in Namugongo saw many city small scale traders nodding their heads, and decrying the current economic situation in the country, which they blamed for the low sales realized.
It should be noted that hundreds of these traders are still shocked and in a situation of uncertainty, after registering huge losses in the process of selling their items to pilgrims.
The worst affected business lovers were food vendors, snacks sellers, cold drinks traders, shoe traders and those who dealt in clothings.
Most of these traders are bitterly complaining, that they registered huge losses after the event, something that was never expected. These aggrieved parties hoped to bag huge sums of money from the celebrations, which was never to be.
Most of them linked the low business to the appaling economic situation in the country, characterized by biting poverty, which itself is blamed on inflation and escalating prices of essential household goods.
During business time most especially at night, these traders could be seen sleeping, instead of going about their businesses, due to a record low turn up of customers.
Nakachwa Patricia, who dealt in chips and eggs at night said she is deeply worried and in a difficult situation, owing to the fact that she had invested Shs. 90,000 in the business, but only realized Shs. 50,000.
She blamed the losses on the high commodity prices that increased operational expenses and kept customers away.
Ssebunya Abdul, a chapati seller was found at his stall, holding his cheek, grambling with his colleagues and nodding his head, an indicator of serious disatsifaction.
Asked what the problem was, he intimated to me that abnormally high commodity prices and taxes, coupled with Shs. 60,000 he paid to get space for his stall, made him register serious losses.
Ssebunya revealed that at the height of the celebrations, he would be making chapattis from a carton of flour but struggled to sell off 2 kilograms every day.
Male Yuda, who capitalized on selling soft drinks like Bushera, and soda regretted having invested Shs. 2 million, only to reap Shs. 300,000 by Friday evening.
He compared this pilgrimage to those of the previous years, and said pilgrims used to buy in large quantities then, but the current huge prices and poverty in the country made a difference and people could not buy, even after treking for long distances.
To this day, most of these traders are still stranded with their items, as many had expressed optimism, hoping that business would increase as pilgrims return home, but to their astonishment, no one is buying and the ones around are stranded, with no transport means of returning to their homes.
The post Small scale traders decry low sales during Martyrs Day Celebrations appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.