Renowned cartoonist, philosopher, and Observer journalist, Jimmy Spire Ssentongo is still one of the forcefully quarantined Ugandans stuck at Central inn Entebbe.
He was returning from the United Kingdom which is ranked in category one which are gravely affected areas of the Corona pandemic. Spire’s narrative of what the experience at Entebbe is like shows our country is not anywhere close to the necessary readiness for tackling the Corona virus. Spire says they spent about 36 hours stuck on the corridors of the said gazetted Entebbe hotel. It appeared that the owners of this facility could have struck a deal with government whereby they were to host unsuspecting travellers at this location for $100 (shs 360,000) for a night and this was to cover only accomodation but not meals.
Spire argues that the hotel staff do not even have the capacity to contain the quarantined. They freely mingle with the travellers and surprisingly they do not have protective gears. “They are walking in and out of the hotel gate. They all seem confused about what’s going on. One has confided in us that there was a group of Chinese here earlier that they did not know how to handle and were scared of,” reads part of Spire’s Facebook post. The hotel staff are themselves at the a risk of being potential carriers of the virus.
Extortion of travellers
Spire reveals how travellers are perceived to be automated teller machines.(ATM) No attention is availed to any of them if one doesn’t show interest in purchasing an item or hiring a service. The inn belongs to P.M Bachengana, a tycoon in good ties with the regime. Spire says even a mere 500ml mineral water bottle goes for $1.2 (4000/=) and a meal $3 (15,000/=). It appears that the hotel is only interested in the foreign currency of the travellers than their health. He reports that staff are easily and freely receiving money yet it is one of the blacklisted by the WHO items said to he a potent carrier. By closure of the fourteenth quarantine days, a traveller spends $1400 (5,180,000/=) on just accommodation minus meals.