Minister’s statement on traders is blocked

The speaker of parliament has bowed to pressure to adjourn the house over the trade minister’s statement on the current trader’s situation.

The trade and Tourism minister Amelia Kyambadde had been scheduled to give an official statement on the current impasse with the traders at parliament this afternoon but did not make an appearance.

 This caused tempers in the house to flair as members of parliament from both sides sought an explanation as to why the minister had failed to show up.

 The speaker Rebecca Kadaga has adjourned it to tomorrow directing the minister to work on the statement and present it.

Earlier, the minister met city traders in another attempt to try and defuse the rising tension.

She met members of the Kampala City Traders Association, Uganda Manufacturers’s Association and officials from the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The minister however did not divulge the outcome of the meeting since it was closed to the media.

A series of meetings held earlier have yielded no results, with the traders walking out on the minister twice during yesterday’s meeting held at Nakibubo Stadium.

Meanwhile Kampala city Traders association is set to hold a news conference this afternoon to announce their next move after the strike.

The traders started closed their businesses yesterday to protest against a weakened currency and the influx of foreign traders.

The shop owners say the depreciating shilling, high taxes and trade license fees have raised the cost of imports, threatening to push them out of business.

The traders also want government to take action on the Chinese businessmen who have flooded Uganda with cheap products.

Their two-day strike is the latest in a series of demonstrations against the rising cost of living in Uganda.

Story By Olive Eyotaru