By Solomon Hamala
Lodge owners in Iganga have expressed excitement following the President Yoweri Museveni directive allowing Lodges to operate after a period of almost one year.
President Yoweri Museveni during his address on the COVID 19 situation on Sunday 6th June 2021, allowed lodges to operate as long they don’t have bars on condition they followed the standard operating procedures(SOPS).
Godfrey Kasadha, the proprietor J.J hotels in Iganga municipality and its surrounding areas said the decision to allow them operate will enable them service loans that they had earlier secured from microfinance institutions.
Kasadha said he had previously cancelled orders from clients especially long distance truck trailer drivers who wanted to book in advance for lodging for fear of being arrested for breaching the Presidential directives.
“There was no way I could allow people stay in my lodges yet there was a suspension in place,” he said.
Mohamed Isabirye, the proprietor Sunshine hotel in Nakigo sub county Iganga expressed fear that despite the re-opening of lodges, clients are likely to be few since public transport has been suspended for 42 days.
Isabirye said majority of clients are hawkers who hail from distant areas to sell their goods in weekly markets around the area.
However majority of women who work as waitresses and lodge operators expressed happiness saying they will be able to provide necessities for their families following the long break away from work.
Meanwhile, the Resident District Commissioner Iganga, Thomas Matende cautioned lodge owners against breaching the regulations saying any one found guilty risks being arrested and prosecuted before courts of law.
Matende said police is to conduct regular operations around the district to arrest those found violating the regulations by allowing bars to operate.
The district police commander Iganga, Kenneth Muheirwe urged boda boda cyclists not to operate beyond six p.m if they are to avoid being arrested for violating the curfew deadline set in place.
“Some of these boda boda cyclists are so stubborn that they want to work even beyond the 9 o’clock curfew hours,” he said.