KAMPALA – The rise in COVID-19 numbers is due to how we have responded to the pandemic. We made a good decision to lockdown early. Regrettably, everybody was locked except trucks that are the best mode of dissemination.
The truck phenomenon, which continued, was a fundamental failure. The surveillance continued only at the border and the contacts of those who had entered through the airport in the first two weeks. We didn’t know what was going on in the community. Even now, testing in the community is very low.
What was unreasonable was testing the truck drivers and letting them move before the results are confirmed. The overall lack of planning explains the panicky response to the coronavirus.
We didn’t have a single bag of food or money to purchase food. We first had to go and borrow money that was eaten by mafias.
When the money borrowed, it was immediately divided. Some of it was taken to Mr. Museveni’s State House and another part taken to the army.
There was no additional security that would necessitate money allocation. Was the money taken to the army for spying on the pandemic?
Therefore, how the population responds to the pandemic depends on the respect and trust they have in the people disseminating the information. It is important that they are believable and trusted.
The population has no trust. People were afraid at the beginning, but what they saw didn’t encourage them to continue paying attention.
The masses saw the MPs getting UGX 20 million each while they starve in their homes. We are stuck with hyenas keeping our food. We have no money. Even salaries that are being paid are borrowed money. We are a country in a deep crisis.
We have a terrible governance situation. The ordinary people in this country must have their own survival plan rather than depending on hyenas.
A lockdown is desirable, but no longer available to us. We are now on our own. I have been telling people to work on their immunity.
Don’t neglect the use of masks. For the mask to be useful, everybody must put them on correctly, covering the nose and mouth. Hygiene is a necessity.
Dr Kizza Besigye is a Ugandan politician and founder of Uganda’s popular opposition political party, FDC.