Opinion: From tomorrow a National Lockdown, but hope Mzee keeps ONE PROMISE!
There are from tomorrow a National Lockdown for 14 days in the Republic of Uganda. This means most of society is closed or barred. Only the necessities are supposed to be at work. This is following ideals from all across the world to battle the COVID-19 or Coronavirus.
The President has his 5th National Address in a short time. Every time taken it one step further. What is still missing is using the “State of Emergency” statute or article of the 1995 Constitution. However, the President prefers doing it step-by-step or erratic like most of his presidency. That is why his following the same procedure here.
What his closing and doing is the rational things and nothing that isn’t done elsewhere. He has not done anything revolutionary, even if his son calls him the African Revolutionary. Still, the President has promised one thing and in a Nation filled with poverty and a gig-economy. Where the lower class are living hand to mouth. This one promise has to be kept. It will show, if his all words or actually act upon it.
“The Government anti-Corona-virus actions of stopping public transport and other measures have put the drivers and other people out of work. Besides, many of them live hand to mouth ─ the daily bread. Without those activities, especially in the towns, such people may not be able to buy food. The Government, after properly identifying these people will distribute food to them in the form of akahuunga (maize flour), beans, powder milk, sugar, salt, etc. In the meantime, I direct the Police to arrest the opportunistic and irresponsible politicians who try to distribute food for cheap popularity. Those are very dangerous to the health of the people. When you try to distribute food or money in such a situation, people gather around you. Many people can be infected in that process. You will, therefore, have caused the sickness or death of those people. Anybody involved in that effort will be arrested and charged with attempted murder” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 30.03.2020).
I’m looking forward hearing that the government are delivering food in the villages of Northern Uganda. Or if he delivers in the mountains around Kasese. Even seeing some government officials delivering food to ones in need in Busoga. There is plenty whose staying home and in need because of COVID-19.
That the President are issuing a 14 days a lockdown is a positive. Museveni and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has their work cut out with this promise. The informal part of society and the supposed about 20% in dire poverty needs special support during the lockdown. The state should always have a safety net for these, but it hasn’t so. That is why they are falling out and doesn’t have needed support. This is why, when the state promised to identifying them, that means the state has to find one in four. That should be easy and not hard to find. They can just avoid certain areas and certain suburbs. Than, the rest they got to deliver food and supplies too.
The NRM and the President has run this nation for 34 years has to see the realities. If not, he will shield it and make it into a mirage. That things are better then there is. As he will have a minor or smaller frame to only give to a chosen few. Just like the Presidential Donations and the other schemes made out of the State House.
The President has to deliver to big part of the population. This being the unemployed, the ones whose living under a dollar a day or in the informal sector. This is clearly a big part of the population.
It is easy to talk, but harder to act. Secondly, this will cost and would need coordination. Even for just two weeks. There is needs out there and he has failed over and over again. Therefore, people should follow up on this promise from the President. Because this is the leaf of hope in midst of despair. Peace.