President Yoweri Museveni has warned traders taking advantage of the coronavirus situation to sell foodstuffs at exorbitant prices that their licenses will be canceled.
Museveni, who addressed the nation on Tuesday afternoon, described the traders taking advantage of the situation as “crooks”, noting that he would send spies in town to catch those increasing food prices.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has created panic with people stocking foodstuffs and other products in anticipation of long lock-downs. Uganda has so far confirmed 9 cases and no deaths.
Traders have reacted by more than doubling the prices. Products like salt have seen their prices more than triple with traders saying they have run out of supply. Products like rice, beans, G. nuts, and flour have had prices edged up a bit. The other reason could be that the supply for the food is now limited as people cut down on their movements.
He noted the “the food is produced here. I am a farmer, the bananas are here, cassava is here.” “We shall cancel licenses for anybody found increasing prices,” he said.
The president said the cabinet would discuss the possibility of reducing price water so that Ugandans can access it all the time to be able to wash their hands. He said they should use soap.
However, the President said that he is still hesitant to stop public transport because it is the main option for most Ugandans. He said the country should think about manufacturing bicycles and putting up an infrastructure for them to ease solitary movement for individuals, whose lives are threatened while using other forms of transport
A single person rides a bicycle and the possibility of getting infected is less compared to one who uses a taxi ferrying 14 passengers.