President Yoweri Museveni has threatened to revoke licenses of traders who will be found hiking prices of goods during this crisis of Coronavirus, labeling them “crooks”.
Ugandans have been using social media to express concern over the prices of goods which have escalated in the last few days. Some said 500 grams of salt have shot up to Shs 4,000 from Shs 700.
While addressing the nation on Tuesday, president warned the traders who are escalating these prices.
“There is the issue of crooks who are hiking prices. I will send spies in the town if they find anyone hiking prices, I will cancel his license. Because you are crooks,” the President said.
He wondered what is driving the price hikes for products that are not even imported.
“The food is produced here. What has happened to hike the prices? What has changed to make the beans expensive?”
“We shall send people as if pretending to buy, they will catch you and you will never trade here again. We shall never give you a license again,” Museveni said.
The President hinted on a parallel supply chain (NRM cadres) to sell things at the normal prices.
In his third address in less than a week over the pandemic, Museveni said that he is still baffled by the issue of public transport which is the remaining risk factor in the response to COVID-19. He said that a ban on all public transport means would be ideal.
Museveni mooted the idea of introducing bicycles in cities like Kampala since they don’t allow for congestion which facilitates the spread of the virus.
“I have talked to the people in Nakaseke to urgently put up a bicycle factory. I have also talked to Barbra Mulwana (Uganda Manufacturers Association) and Amelia Kyambadde, the Trade Minister to see if we can revive the Roadmaster factory of bicycles of Namanve”
“That may have to be the answer. Because with the bicycle,, you are by yourself. You keep the company you want to keep”
“If the virus persists, we shall get rid of public transport and promote bicycles. The bicycles are even good for your health. If we had enough bicycles in Kampala, I would have already banned this public transport. Bicycles are easier and they are even good for health”.
Museveni reiterated the measures that the public must take – avoiding anyone who is coughing or sneezing, washing hands, and not touching the mouth, nose and mouth.
“The situation is manageable if you listen closely to what we are saying”.