• On Tuesday, in a televised address Museveni warned traders against taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Museveni’s warning comes after cases of Covid-19 shoot up in the country from 1 to 9, jolting the ‘pearl of Africa’ into action.
  • While city commuters will continue to use public transport, long-distance travel would be halted to limit movement.

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has warned he will flood towns in the country with spies as coronavirus jolts the ‘pearl of Africa’

On Tuesday, in a televised address Museveni warned traders against taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to inflate prices of food and other basic supplies in the country.

“I will send spies in the town to catch those hiking the price of food. I will cancel their licenses. These are crooks,’’ said Museveni before adding. “the food is produced here, what has happened to make food prices go up? I may organise NRM cadres to bring this food from the village and sell it directly at proper prices.”

Museveni’s warning comes after cases of Covid-19 shoot up in the country from 1 to 9, jolting the ‘pearl of Africa’ into action.

All border points have been beefed up with additional deployments to ensure strict adherence to the border lockdown. Joint security agencies have been tasked to observe the ban on travel to and from Uganda.

A soldier holds his weapon as he watches a procession by Uganda's leading opposition party Forum for Democratic Change supporters being dispersed in Kampala, Uganda, February 15, 2016.
A soldier holds his weapon as he watches a procession by Uganda's leading opposition party Forum for Democratic Change supporters being dispersed in Kampala, Uganda, February 15, 2016.
Reuters

The Ugandan president noted that although public transport was a risk in the spread of coronavirus, stricter measures were yet to be imposed as they could hurt factory workers residing in the capital Kampala and its environs.

“If the cities and towns had enough bicycles, by now I would have suspended public transport because people can cycle [to and from work]. Public transport won’t be suspended yet. Let us monitor if the problem spreads we shall suspend public transport but for now let us watch,” he said.

While city commuters will continue to use public transport, long-distance travel would be halted to limit movement.

Kampala City
Kampala City

On Monday, Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng urged Ugandans to stay calm and maintain hygiene following the jump of coronavirus cases.

"All the eight cases are Ugandan nationals who travelled back from Dubai, UAE; two on March 20 and six on March 22, 2020 aboard the Emirates and Ethiopian Airlines flights. This brings the total number of Covid-19 confirmed cases in the country to nine," Dr Aceng said.

Uganda is considering using schools (since they are now not operational) as quarantine points so that people don’t spend so much on hotels.