KAMPALA — President Museveni has said that banning cargo from entering the country “is absolutely suicidal” and ‘unnecessary’.
“Until the train is fully operational, I appeal to Ugandans to swallow your anger and employ amagezi [wisdom]. Stopping cargo is [not only] suicidal but also unnecessary,” argued President Museveni who is delivering his 12th address.
“I say it is suicidal because, if we stop cargo, how will our coffee (and cotton, tea, cotton, milk, cement from the factories and food) move?”
“Secondly, my point is, it is not necessary,” adds the President, pointing to the revised directive that long-distance trucks must have only one occupant – the driver – as opposed to the initial three.
“This is safer.”
Once again, Museveni urged the ministry of health to ensure that the drivers coming into the country do not mix with the local people – especially the so-called ladies of the night.
This is a planned war – not an emotional one’
Museveni says while Uganda enforced “radical” measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, “these were calculated measures”.
Uganda had to survive and the pillars of her survival were:
1. Farming had to continue – because is not easily susceptible to the spread of the virus
2. Factories and construction sites could continue operating – as long as they encamp their workers.
3. Essential services had to continue – hospitals, water generation, telecommunications, etc
One of the most important things that had to continue, Museveni adds, was cargo within the country and between Uganda her neighbours.
“This is a planned war. It is not an emotional war and it is not a suicidal war. To interfere with cargo, it is suicidal.”
The best way to move cargo under the current circumstances should be by rail and by water, the President adds.
The president also said that
“Our people are studying intensely. We shall give you the new guideline (what next) before May 5. This will be determined by the study which is being carried out quietly to know where we are in terms of the sickness,” says Museveni.
He adds that it is clear that the main source of infection now is from the truck drivers coming into Uganda. He talks of how Ugandans are now “bitter” towards these drivers, perhaps alluding to the mounting public pressure to have the long-distance cargo transporters held at the border points before their coronavirus results are known.