Speaker Kadaga has once again reechoed the need to scrap the 9 pm curfew saying that it is a hindrance to most businesses including tourism.
During Wednesday’s parliamentary sitting, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga said the continued curfew restriction has not only hit hard many people’s businesses but also the tourism industry.
Last year following the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country, the government imposed several closure restrictions to help minimise the spread of the virus.
With now most businesses already operating following few months of being locked down, Kadaga reasons that the night curfew is still affecting many from revamping from the losses they incurred during their closure.
She says many roadside vendors selling food items at night have been hit without sparing the tourism sector. She pinpointed that the national airport was allowed to resume operations recently meaning tourists have access into and outside the country.
Kadaga however, reminded that most flights happen during the night hours and as a result begged the government to consider revising the curfew time before it impacts the economy even further.
“When the lockdown was instituted, the airport was closed. However in October 2020, the airport was re-opened. It is important to take into account that several flights come in after 9 pm for example airlines like KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines and others arrive and take off in the night,” Kadaga reminded.
“This would be a safe way to tell government because the curfew time is negatively affecting the country more so the tourism industry,” Kadaga added.
This, however, comes following a petition raised in Parliament earlier this month by a section of legislators including the Parliament Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, the Kawempe North Legislator Latif Ssebaggala and Joseph Ssewungu of Kalungu west.
Joseph Ssewungu of Kalungu west told Parliament then that many motorists have had to pay unjustifiable fines of not less than sh50,000 for being caught riding past their 6:00 pm curfew.
“Whereas motor vehicles are allowed to move up to 9:00pm, motorcycles are barred from any form of movement beyond 6:00 pm. This is a challenge because many boda boda cyclists have heard to pay more than sh50,000 as a fine for working past their time yer many make about sh10000 a single day,” MP Ssewungu said.
Relatively, the Kawempe North legislator, Latif Ssebaggala also raised concerns that Muslims are going to be affected by the curfew especially as the month of Ramadan first approaches.
“The month of Ramadan is coming where we are expected to pray up to 10:00 pm, how are we going to fulfill this when the curfew is 9:00 pm. It should either be reviewed or completely scrapped because it is very irrelevant,” Ssebaggala noted with concern.
As well, the Parliament Chief Whip raised that the curfew affects many people’s businesses at a time when a number of them are still trying to bounce back from effects posed by the COVID-19.
“Many businesses for example the road side vendors utilize this time to make some money but because of the curfew their businesses were affected but remember they also have families and children to look after,” Nankabirwa said.