and women have stocked up piles of merchandise at Namugongo in anticipation of
blissful sales in the run-up to the Martyr’s day on Monday June 3.
Heaps of water boxes, soda cartons, bunches of matooke and frantic movements to set up tents on road side and inside the church compound welcome you in the area.
When URN visited the Namugongo area on Wednesday afternoon, traders said there was still low sales, but there are tale-tell signs that things will be better than last year.
Blazing music and singing pilgrims as they enter the holy place light up the area.
While you feel the presence of bigger business, including Coca cola, Pepsi, and bigger water retailers, June 3 will probably be more meaningful to the smaller hustlers.
Bonny Mwesigye, normally works from Ggaba. This week he has camped at Namugongo and is making quick snacks. He says he has put Shs300,000 and paid space for 100,000. He hopes to recoup it by Tuesday next week.
Steven Nkurikye shifted his stall from Bulengo, Wakiso. He makes chapatti, tea and rolex. He has paid 120,000 for the space in Namugongo trading center – outside the church area. He says he doesn’t expect a loss.
“Last year I sent my workers and we made money that we would dream of in Bulenga. This year I came by myself,” he said. “There are signs this is our year.”
It is a cocktail of businesses being set up – from food vending to clothes stalls, to rosary and bible stalls. There are spots for beer, soft drinks like soda, water and slaughter areas.
Some business traders said they have transported merchandise to shifted their merchandise from Kikuubo to Namugongo.
Ssali Wasswa has stocked shoes of Shs7 million and paid space for Shs200,000. He says based on how they worked last year, they are optimistic they will sell all of them by the end of the celebrations.
“Last year, we sold everything. Every year, there are more people coming to this area, we will sell every shoe you see here.”