RUKUNGIRI- Salon operators in Rukungiri Municipality under their umbrella Rukungiri Salon Association have today morning stormed the Resident District Commissioner’s (RDC) office demanding his intervention with their landlords on rent.
The over 116 operators also complained about the delayed distribution of relief food despite the fact that they were also listed as a vulnerable group by the President at the time he announced a nationwide lockdown as a control measure against the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Simon Agaba, a salon operator in Rukungiri town, who is also the Chairperson of the association, says they are going through a hard time after more than three months of not working. He says that the situation has been complicated by the fact that landlords are now asking them to clear rent or vacate their premises.
“We are here not because we are well off but the situation we are going through forced us to seek assistance from your office since our sources of income were affected by the national coronavirus lockdown from late March,” said Agaba.
Peace Kworakunde another salon operator says most of the salon operators have loans to pay and have started receiving reminders from creditors to clear. She is worried that without alternatives, they may lose their collateral to money lenders.
Dan Kaguta, the Rukungiri Resident District Commissioner (RDC) who calmed down the salon operators explained that it’s not intentional to have their businesses closed but rather control the spread of the disease.
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He also says he intends to engage some money lenders to defer repayment of their loans so as to ease pressure on the salon operators.
“We are going to engage the money lenders so that they can push ahead with the repayment plans so that you can start off after the situation returns to normal” Kaguta told operators.
Every salon operator later moved away with 5Kgs of Millet flour for survival as the RDC promised them a quick response regarding their issues.
Salon operators are among the categories of businesses who were affected by the national lockdown the government announced in March this year in a bid to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
This was in line with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) social distancing measures in controlling the spread of the virus.