Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni said the challenge of skyrocketting commodity prices is easier to solve and it’s not a new problem to his government having sucessfully overcome bigger problems before.
Museveni’s remarks were in a nation address on Sunday meant to specifically respond to the concernd about high prices of essential commodities the citizens have endured for the last five months.
Reffering to several other challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, the locust invasion, rising water levels in Lakes and Rivers, landslides, floating Islands and terrorist attacks, the president said these were more complex to solve compared to commodity prices.
“At the beggining of the NRM administration in 1986, following the expulsion of Ugandan-Indian entreprenuers by Idi Amin, Uganda experienced continous high inflation, severe shortages of commodities, forex black market…etc. Therefore, the recent phenomenon of high commodity prices is indeed a problem but it is easier to solve than, for instance, COVID which needed severe restrictions and new science (vaccines)” President Museveni remarked.
Museveni attributed the high commodity prices in Uganda to the sudden rise in demand following the re-opening of the econony, the Russia-Ukraine war in Europe, as well as other factors. He also prescribed increased production as well as use of subsitute items like consumption of cassava, millet instead of wheat floor, in order to mitigate the high prices.
He stated that whereas the challenge of high commodity prices can lead to collapse of the economy in case it is not handled correctly, with patience and correct response, it will turn out to be an advantage to the country.
President Museveni also defended his government’s position on calls for subscidies and tax waivers on goods imported into the country, saying the two approaches as advanced by “reactionaries” are suicidal to the country’s economy.
READ PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’S ADDRESS IN FULL:
ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON THE CURRENTY ECONOMY MAY 2022