President's Directive on Arcades, Shopping Malls Throws Traders in Confusion

The business district in downtown Kampala, Uganda. (Patricia Lindrio, GPJ Uganda)

City Traders have been thrown into confusion following the President’s directive on shopping malls and arcades.

In his televised address on Monday evening, President Yoweri Museveni said only shopping malls will be allowed to reopen on June 4th provided they observe social distancing, wash hands regularly or use sanitizers.  

He, however, said arcades will remain closed to avoid congestion. The directive has triggered a debate among traders on the difference between an arcade and shopping mall. Some of the traders accused the president of favouring the rich, saying they don’t see the any difference between arcades and shopping malls since they offer the same services.

Dennis Batambuze, the Chairperson Street vendors downtown said there is no difference between shopping malls and arcades. He said there is need for the president to exercise fairness to traders in arcades

Peter Kauju, the Kampala Capital City Authority Police Spokesperson told Uganda Radio Network that the Authority will clarify on the difference between shopping malls and arcades.  

According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s dictionary, an arcade is a covered area or passage in which there are shops or a covered passage joined to a building on one side and with columns and arches while a shopping mall is a large usually enclosed shopping area where cars are not allowed

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary, says a shopping mall is a large building or covered area that has many shops, restaurants inside it while an arcade is a covered passage between streets, with shops on either side.


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