President Museveni’s 2-hour address to Ugandans on Friday, had strong areas that were specifically addressing particular groups of people: MPs, LDU’s, Business community, and the general public.
The president noted that the current situation in Uganda is “war” and not convenience; he however expressed pleasure that Ugandans have complied with his directives, and expressed optimism that coronavirus will be defeated. At one point Museveni expressed anguish over unbecoming behavior by errant elements in society too.
The pessimistic Parliamentarians:
“I have written a letter to the Prime Minister, copied to big people of the state, who are these people we are trying to give food. Some people think its a poverty alleviation programme. Poverty is a long term problem. It has been there..”
“I was watching Parliament and I do not agree with the line of too much pessimism. I hear the economy is going to suffer. This crisis might create more demand for food. Tourism will suffer, but the cows will continue producing.”
“We should not mix our old problems with this that is new. You can’t bring the long-standing problem of poverty which is not an emergency and has been around for a very long time. If you mix issues up, you are going to make us fail.”
“I have not heard that COVID-19 is affecting cows or our crops. We are going to do more manufacturing. The slavery of depending on imports will stop.”
“The people we are going to support are the ones affected by the anti-coronavirus measures taken by the government, not others.”
The business community:
“I would like to appeal to the traders to stay at their workplaces like shops or markets. The days are reducing. If we move in a controlled way, we shall manage this…. However, your constant movements are interfering with our ability to detect the affected people. I will not use energy but I need us to be on the same page.”
“People are talking about convenience, this is war. It is not about convenience anymore, it is survival. A big struggle is upon us, lives will change, some sectors will definitely get a setback, but this is doable and we shall defeat COVID-19.”
LDU’s beating Ugandans:
“Do not interpret my orders in a ragged way like you do not know how Ugandans live. When we say stay at home, even people who are in their gardens are at home”
“I have heard that some LDUs are misbehaving. If anybody tries to enter your house, call Nakalema. You shall see what we shall do to him or her. We shall show our anger as we did in the bush”
“I have activated Col Nakalema. For anyone who is abusing our arrangement, they should be reported. These are pigs who need to be dealt with.”
The general public:
“I did not mean you should be confined indoors. You are allowed to enjoy your compound if it’s hot or even go to the latrine outside. Besides most of our homes don’t have toilets inside.”
“During this time of emergencies, the pregnant women should be in touch with sub-county chiefs so that they are in the know. I have some workers who are camped at the Statehouse for these days. I have a home but I stayed in the bush for five years.”
“…All these inconveniences are nothing compared to the bigger problem of the virus spreading in the populations. We, fighters know this. When we delayed closing the airport, that is how we ended up with the cases.”
“I am beginning to be hopeful that we can defeat the virus.” President Kaguta Museveni said.