Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) has resolved to go ahead with their 3 day strike starting today over high interest rates on bank loans.
This is after KACITA leadership snubbed a meeting called by the Prime minister last evening to try and avert the strike.
The leaders said the meeting would not be of any help since government had showed no commitment to intervene positively in the matter.
KACITA chairperson Everest Kayondo and spokesperson Issa Ssekitto said they would not attend the meeting at Postal Building since they wanted action, not “empty promises.
Only the organization’s chief executive officer Moses Kalule, put in a token appearance and insisted after the meeting ended at 8:30 pm that the traders’ strike was still on.
The meeting chaired by State Minister for Finance (General Duties), Fred Omach, was attended by State Minister for Trade David Wakikona, the Governor Bank of Uganda, Prof. Tumusiime Mutebile, Private Sector Foundation boss, Moses Ogwal and bankers.
The Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, who joined in much later, told journalists, who were initially denied access, to the meeting, that there was a proposal to review accounts of borrowers by extending the period of recovery of the loans but not reducing the interest rates.
Bankers’ representatives meanwhile, handed the baton to the Central Bank, saying they were ready to decrease interest rates if it agrees to reduce the Central Bank Rate which is currently 23 per cent.
But BoU insisted that they cannot reduce the CBR abruptly as it is helping to reduce the country’s inflation rate, which is hovering at 27%.
So far, the traders have been joined by manufacturers, the private sector, teachers and now Makerere University staff all of whom are protesting the increased interest rates on old loans.