President Museveni has promised that the government will bailout businesses that were badly hit by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the nation on Sunday from Mbale where he is on a campaign trail, Museveni outlined various categories of businesses that the government will consider to render financial support to.
“As we look forward to emerging from this COVID-19 nightmare, the NRM will work out a bailout package for the categories that were affected most businesswise. These are people like the owners of private schools, the entertainment industry, the hospitality industry, the street vendors among others,” he said.
After the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the Government announced a partial lockdown in which almost all businesses with the exception of “essential” service providers such as media, banks and hospitals/clinics among others were shutdown in an effort to contain the spread of the pandemic.
These included; bars, hotels, entertainment and recreation centers, all education institutions, monthly and weekly markets, public transport, salons, gyms, casinos among others.
Although the Government lifted the lockdown in phases, some businesses such as bars are still shutdown. For the case of education institutions, only candidates and final year students have been allowed to resume studying.
Economic experts have severally advised Government to bailout Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) that were badly affected by COVID-19 pandemic on grounds that it is SMEs that will keep the Ugandan economy on track.
Museveni explained where finances to bailout affected businesses will come from yet the economy has been badly affected by the outbreak of the pandemic, in addition to billions of shillings that have been spent on registration of voters in this electioneering period.
“How much money will we have spent ever since the time of registration of voters in the month of November 2019? The total will be 1,073 billion. Fortunately, this huge amount of money is a one-time expenditure every 5 years. We are not going to spend it again for another 4 years. We shall therefore have money with which we can address needs of bailing out our people,” said Museveni.
He noted that this will be favoured by the fact that by January 2021, all the electioneering will be over.
In the end of 2020 year presidential address, Museveni said he will address the challenges faced at the beginning of the year including the locusts, floods, landslides, the floating islands and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Uganda under the NRM is unstoppable,” he said.