Traders operating business on Sudhir Ruparelia’s shopping arcades including Tourist Hotel, Platinum House and Plot 11 have reopened their shops after having a non-fruitful strike on Monday
By Lawrence Mulondo
Traders operating business on Sudhir Ruparelia’s shopping arcades including Tourist Hotel, Platinum House and Plot 11 have reopened their shops after having a non-fruitful strike on Monday.
Traders on Monday morning took to the streets protesting paying their monthly rent charges in US dollars.
The traders closed their shops in protest, waving placards, reading, "We are not in the US, why pay in dollars", while other placards read "the higher the dollar, the higher our rent" as they walked peacefully along Market Street.
On Monday afternoon traders elected eight representatives led by John Sebutinde, who presented their issues to Crane Management bosses in a meeting they held at Platinum House.
In the meeting, Sebutinde requested the traders to meanwhile open their shops and resume work as they set up a meeting with Sudhir.
“Closing your shops does not give a good public figure to both Crane Management and you traders. We will set up a meeting with Sudhir so that he address your problem,” Sebutinde said.
Kasirye Kigongo, one of the traders' representatives told New Vision that they would only open up their shops on condition that they will not be paying rent for last month (June) until their landlord listens to them.
Kasilye said they will have no option but to leave the building just like his tenants operating on City House did and only returned after he agreed to charge rent in local currency.
The dollar as of today was trading at 3230/3280. This means one has to exchange more local currency to buy dollars and pay rent.
The dollar has been rapidly appreciating against the shilling since beginning of the year and traders who were paying sh18m per month are now paying sh20m.
Sudhir’s tenants resume business on tight conditions