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UGANDA: Museveni’s address on COVID-19, security

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On the economy

Wrapping up his address by touching on the economy, President Museveni paints a picture of optimism for Uganda’s economic outlook.

In fact, it is a reiteration of part of his Independence Day speech, where he talked of the resiliance of Uganda’s economy.

“Uganda’s economy has transformed to a level where the country wil be self-sufficient and achieve   sustainable economic growth and job creation,” he said then.

“As a result of diversification of our economy and expanding our export base, our economy has been able to withstand the potential negative impact of COVID-19.  Our economy, last Financial Year, grew by 3.2 percent per annum, compared to negative growth rates in many other countries in Africa and around the world.   If COVID-19 had not  disrupted   our economic activities, our   economy would have achieved a growth rate of about 7% per annum last Financial Year.”

On security personnel hitting back

On the direction of the President, footage is played showing security personnel shooting “as if at people” during the recent riots.

He says one incident happened in Nsangi, where a Police officer named Kidega was injured by rioters and that one of the white pickups seen in footage with personnel shooting “at rioters” was evacuating the injured officer.

The other incident apparently happened in Mukono on the junction with Kayunga, and Museveni says they are going to investigate what exactly happened.

The President says some rioters were seen destroying CCTV cameras. “We have cameras everywhere, but why would you want to destroy one?”

On stray bullets

Considering that some people lost their lives after being hit by stray bullets during the recent riots, President Museveni recommends that “the Police should audit the phenomenon of stray bullets”.

He says in such a scenario, Police personnel deployed in a riot situation should first “fire in the air to warn off the rioters”, because the reasoning is that once such bullets fired in the air land back earthwards, they would have lost their lethal power.

“Stray bullets only come in play when shooting at the attacker but then some bullets miss the attacker and catch some other people,” he explains.

‘Imputy of lawlessness’

The President talks of three separate incidents that happened on November 20, 21 and 23 that illustrate what he calls that imputy of lawlessnss.

He says it involved personnel of the counter-terrorism unit who had gone for patrol in the “so-called no go areas for law enforcement”.

The first, he says, happened in Makerere Kivulu. “They were attacked by iron bar thugs. Two criminals were shot dead and the third succumbed to his injuries later”.

In Katwe area, an attacker was shot dead after attacking the personnel.

In Nakivubo, “one thug threw stones at the security officers. He was shot dead.”

Again alluding to the incident where a female police officer was attacked by a hammer-wielding man, President Museveni vows that “this will never happen again. Nobody will ever attack a person wearing the uniform of the NRM”.

“You have no right to undress Ugandans, to stone Ugandans and to destroy property”, adds Museveni.

Condoling the families of the victims of the “senseless riots”, the President says “the Government will compensate all those who were not rioters but lost their lives and lost property if it can be verified”.

Regarding the arrest of Kyagulanyi in Luuka, Museveni weighs in thus: “The Police should have warned the supporters and instead concentrated on Honourable Kyagulanyi”.

The President yet again preaches the gospel of social distance, especially during this heavily political season.

Being one of the 11 presidential candidates, Museveni, who is the NRM flagbearer, says he cannot stand through the sunroof of his car along the campaign trail. He castigates leaders who do so.

The President then talks about the recent riots that erupted in some parts of the country following the arrest of NUP flagbearer Robert Kyagulanyi.

He says some political actors, “acting with impunity” have been vowing to “render Ugandans ungovernable” and points out how some people, backed by foreign actors, attacked ordinary Ugandans, created illegal blockades in roads and vandalised many.

With footage of some of these activities of “imputy of lawlessness” shown playing on a screen, Museveni delivers some whiff of sarcasm, saying that is what some people term as democracy.

“That was democracy Opposition style in Kampala,” he says.

As many as 54 people died in the chaos, with 32 being rioters – killed during confrontation with Police. says Museveni. “Some were hit by stray bullets while two victims were knocked by a vehicle after the driver was hit by a stone and lost control of the vehicle.”

According to a report he received, the five people who died in Nansana were rioters who had attacked Police, adds the President.

Local coronavirus drug trials to begin on December 15

President Museveni says he has received “happy news” from the scientists.

He says, scientists have developed seven wonderful products, with six already under trial and the seventh already tested and been found effective.

“The first three [substances of the already used drug] are all anti-virals. Dozens of people have been healed by these substances,” he says.

Patients, who will be confined in one place, will have these medicines tried on them starting December 15, adds Museveni, who says he will not provide details due to the probable presence of “spies”.

“Within 40 days, I think from December 15, enough patients will have been tested to convince other people that the drug works. The first three substances deal with the virus. The fourth is a bronchial dilator – a drug that will keep your airways open biochemically without using a ventilator.

The President adds that the scientists have developed two diagnostic tests – one of them using saliva and can give results in half an hour (30 minutes).

Bailing out Ugandans

In his opening comments in his address tonight, President Museveni re-echoes the standard operating procedures that were instituted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including the wearing of masks, washing of hands with soap and water and observing social distance.

He underlines that if Ugandans are obedient to these measures, “we shall not share the losses other parts of the world experience”.

Almost immediately, he strikes a note of optimism.

“The world is about to get out of this nightmare by getting a vaccine or a cure. In Uganda, we are working on getting both – especially the cure looks promising,” adds Museveni.

“The NRM will work out a bail-out package for the categories that were affected business-wise most.” These include those in the hospitality industry, street vendors, the people in the entertainment industry, etc.

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