Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Traders at the Namugongo Catholic Shrine say they are counting losses after the Martyrs Day celebrations.
According to the traders, they hoped that when the celebrations end, they would have made profits, but this wasn’t the case.
The low business mood is reflected by the traders who were found sleeping due to the absence of customers. The most affected traders were those selling food, shoes, and second-hand clothes.
Shakira Nakibule who sells chapatis and chips said that she had invested over 800,000 Shillings but she has reaped only 400,000 Shillings.
Nakibuule blames the losses on the high commodity prices that have increased the cost of investment and kept customers away.
Semei Ssebumba, another chapati seller lamented over high commodity prices and taxes in addition to the 50,000 Shillings he paid to get space for his stall.
Ssebumba explained that by the peak of the celebrations he would be making chapattis from a carton of flour but he has been struggling to sell 2 kilograms every day.
Thomas Nsamba who was selling energy drinks including Lucozade and Ribena says that in the past pilgrims were buying the drinks after trekking, but this time around the prices were unaffordable.
Nsamba regretted that he had invested 6 Million Shillings but by Friday morning he had reaped 200,000 Shillings.
Another trader selling shoes, Salma Namukasa lamented over the lack of customers even at the peak of the celebrations.
However, some of the traders are still optimistic that they will get customers when the pilgrims are returning home.