STATE HOUSE, ENTEBBE: President Museveni has urged Ugandans to continue wearing masks as the country starts a gradual lifting of the lockdown that was imposed to stop the spread on COVID-19 global pandemic.
“We have avoided situations like for those abroad because we used maximum restrictions. We must now slowly open by continuing to avoid the virus through using masks, continue to treat as long as the numbers are not many and at the same time still look for the vaccine. We may soon resume public transport, but this will only work if we have masks on. If we fail to wear masks, we will have massive infections,” he said.
Results of samples tested in Uganda on 8 May, 2020 confirmed 13 new COVID-19 cases from 2,421 samples of truck drivers.
The President’s remarks come at a time Ugandans are crying for the reopening of the economy to enable them earn a living.
The President was this Saturday speaking during the second National Day of Prayer against COVID19, which he hosted together with the First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports, Maama Janet Kataha Museveniat State House Entebbe.
The service was led by His Grace Archbishop Dr. Lwanga Cyprian of Kampala diocese under the theme ‘God’s power is complete’ derived from Psalm 46: 10 and and Quran 645:12.
The first national prayers were held in March 2020.
The President who quoted Genesis 1: 26-28, noted that man was given mandate of dominion over nature and so in such times, he should avoid Coronavirus and find a vaccine for it.
On the issue of the increasing cases of infected truck drivers from neighboring countries, President Museveni said the movement of cargo would not be stopped, but that he had talked with the other East African leaders and the matter would be dealt with.
“Many of you were saying that we should stop them, but if we stopped the trucks, how will the country survive? We are in talks with President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania and we are discussing this. We want the drivers to be tested by joint teams of the four countries. We don’t want them to be tested at the borders now, we want them to be tested from their origin,” he said.
He also noted that because of the ‘Covid19 shake-up’ people must ensure that Ugandans who drive must all be healthy.
This was because most of the drivers that had been checked were found with diseases like diabetes, which would also partly explain why there were many accidents on the road.
The First Lady, Maama Janet Kataha Museveni in prayer, thanked God for the unity of believers in such times and for the exemplary leadership of President Museveni through the uncharted waters.
She thanked God for the strong medical teams and the generosity of Ugandans during the crisis.
She prayed for God to lead the nation as it goes through the gradual lifting of the lockdown and for God to save people during heavy rains.
Archbishop Lwanga thanked God for having spared the life of Ugandans as there was no single death recorded resulting from the pandemic.
“We are here because we are a nation of believers. It is a time to know that he is our God and his power is complete. Uganda must continue to wholeheartedly trust in the father. We call for people around the world to pray according to their respective religions, fast and help one another. We also pray for scientists to find vaccines and a cure for the virus,” he said.
Qouting Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, Archbishop Lwanga noted that there was a time for everything and that while this was a time of suffering, it was also of loving God and our neighbors.
In a powerful sermon delivered to the nation by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, Ugandans were called upon to continue seeking God’s wisdom and guidance despite their desperate need for the lockdown to be lifted, and to reach to God in such a time.
“We are here to seek God who has the power over existence. I thank the First Lady, our intercessor and President Museveni for presenting this place as one where we seek God. We are wondering what God is up to? Maybe he wants us to be still and reach out to him, how can the entire world be locked down? Isn’t God real whispering to us something? He is speaking to us and telling us to slow down. This is the time for us to call unto him. This is not just COVID-19. This is God calling us back to Himself,” he said.
Giving an example of the tenacious medical team in Uganda, Archbishop Kaziimba said that it was in such a time that God has made countries like Uganda realize that they have the capacity to run their own country and that there was no need to travel overseas for treatment.
He reiterated that such times revealed to the country which sectors they must prioritize.
“Those in developed countries need to know that God is at work. The scientists are not in charge because they have limitations. The politicians, religious leaders are not charge but only God,” he said.
Mufti Shaban Mubaje, prayed for victory over COVID-19 and all other calamities.
Bishop Joshua Lwere who interceded for the economy of the nation asked God to let the land produce abundant food for its people.
He also asked God to boost the country’s entrepreneural skills in such times and for Uganda to be able to manufacture it’s own vaccine.
Notables guests who attended the prayers were; Vice President, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, Former Minister of Uganda, Amama Mbabazi and his wife, leaders of the Inter Religious council among others.