President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday sought to allay fears about the economic turmoil that the country might be facing because of the global Coronavirus pandemic.
Museveni, citing divine intervention and multiple lessons to be drawn from the crisis, reassured that Uganda in the end will emerge stronger.
First, the President expressed optimism that the Covid19 Crisis might help revamp Uganda’s manufacturing industry through import substitution.
The President announced that Government will be seizing this opportunity to empower Ugandans to start locally manufacturing more products they have been importing.
“For me, I am never pessimistic,” Museveni said during a national prayer event at State House in Entebbe.
“On the side of the economy, yes there will be a problem on the side of tourism, because the foreigners aren’t coming; and also night clubs and bars, but other aspects of the economy will thrive,” he said.
“Uganda has been spending 7billion dollars each year importing things from outside, but with this Corona, businessmen are not importing anymore and now they have to make them here. We shall arrange with UDB (Uganda Development Bank) a facility to help all these companies that want to make these products here. This challenge may turn out to be some form of wake up.”
In the meantime, Museveni attributed Uganda’s good performance in the Covid19 crisis so far, to God’s intervention.
Currently according to Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng who attended the prayer session in Entebbe, all suspected cases in the country have tested negative.
“The fact that there is no case yet in Uganda given their careless life, it must be because of God because they have been traveling and they like to travel…. they would have brought this disease but God must be intervening,” Museveni said.
The President also listed a number of interventions he believes God has made to save Uganda lately, including the recent locust invasion from Kenya.
These devastating insects Museveni declared, had been “neutralized” over the past weeks and that they did no harm to Uganda’s vegetation.
“Prayer is already working. The locusts came but they ate nothing,” he said.
“They had already eaten a lot of things in Kenya and Somalia and when they came to Uganda, they came to lay eggs. They were just sitting in trees.”
Expounding on how the insects were managed, Museveni revealed that he decided against expert advice to wait for them to lay eggs and then kill the young ones.
“We decided to spray them and killed all of the swarms which came in. They are easy to kill because they come in and land at 6pm and since they are cold blooded, they can’t fly.”
“We used our determination as UPDF; the people tell us where they have landed; our teams get there by 10pm, and spray them till the next morning when the reminants fly off.”
While there were fears that the locusts would lay millions of eggs, Museveni said to this date no eggs have been sighted.
“They seem to have laid eggs but the eggs have not hatched; because everywhere they landed we mapped it and its now 40 days and we haven’t seen the young ones yet.”