KAMPALA – Mr. Museveni and his government need to be alive to the fact that there are people in this country who are faced with starvation and if not immediately helped many more will waste away due to lack of food during the current lockdown.
From the cases found to have contracted COVID -19 in Uganda we have not registered deaths and recovery is getting closer by the day to 100%. Most of the new cases are imported from our neighbours due to failure in managing well truck drivers entry into the country.
Since Mr. Museveni is apparently the alpha and omega of the fight against the corona virus and has vested to himself power to do anything against Ugandans during this period including constitutional overthrow, he needs to take decisions for which he will be brought to account in the very near future.
There are two conflicting situations that Ugandan citizens are faced with:
1. A pandemic of unprecedented global scale caused by corona virus, that has caused many deaths in other counties but has to a certain extent spared Ugandans but created the necessity for a lockdown, and
2. Starvation caused by people being out of work because of the strict measures issued including a lockdown to stop the spread of COVID 19. This has already caused death before corona virus does.
Mr. Museveni embarked on a food distribution exercise to the vulnerable based mainly in the mid central part of the country ignoring the rest of the country.
This experimental adventure was clearly designed to diffuse a potential uprising from millions of people in the metropolitan Kampala area who live from hand to mouth. This was oblivious of the fact that the whole country is food stressed and deserves food relief.
My evaluation of the exercise is that it was hastily conceived to counter interventions by the opposition to help the suffering people and because it was never well planned, has flopped miserably.
Its choice was meant to eclipse the efforts of the other players especially opposition politicians. The FDC was right when they decided not to hand their support to a government we do not recognise and believe in, but also feared it would be mismanaged.
This is the reason we didn’t fall prey to the follies of pausing for pictures with Minister Mary Karooro Okurut during any relief handover exercise, instead we quietly made our interventions through our own networks and channels.
The failure by Mr. Museveni to provide food supplies for the suffering citizens of this country at this challenging time has left citizens to choose between risking their lives to either starvation or COVID 19. To many the obvious choice for which they have control is not to accept to die in their houses of starvation.
If the lockdown has to be sustained and as for today we are counting 10 more days, then Mr. Museveni must distribute enough food (which he doesn’t have) to the population or be prepared to deal with a defiant people who will force their way back to work before the mandatory end of the lockdown.
Patrick Oboi Amuriat is the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Party President