With Uganda being in a second phase of the spread of COVID-19, there has been a lot of seriousness and drama on the opposite side. Ugandans woke up to asking for accountability of the money which they solicited amongst themselves last year as contributions towards the fight despite the many times the Ministry of Health came out to explain everything.
Additionally by February 2021, Uganda wasn’t registering any new cases of the contagious COVID-19. This was joy and peace to every Ugandan except the bar owners & operators, comedians and the musicians. I guess at this point vaccination was nowhere a priority for the population since none was getting sick amidst the opening of the airport and the borders to cross boundary movements. But then how again were we locked down? And again we are slowly opening up, should we say that we are defeating COVID-19 like we did before? Let’s dissect through a few issues around the pandemic and the economy.
Only 5.26% of the 22million target population has been vaccinated since March 2021, loosely meaning that only 1.052% has been vaccinated per month. Considering these rates with the hoarding of the vaccines by the manufacturer countries, when shall Uganda be able to open up most of it’s economy?
Let’s agree that there is a silent catastrophe that is hitting our generations. True, education isn’t the source of knowledge but it’s the organised way to shape, share and gain knowledge across different fields. And as it’s said that “a society which lacks knowledge is partially blind and dumb” guess what awaits our future generations. We can’t open schools after vaccinations like the President suggested in his recent address on COVID-19. This would be the greatest dream of all times.
Also appearing before the press, the Minister for Finance, Hon.Matia Kasaija boldly told the Private school owners to sell off some of their property to service their loans. This was an answer to a call by the same school owners to the government for a hand in paying some of the loans. We shall ask ourselves some questions: which schools have the highest number of Ugandan children, private or government? Should we say that the government aided schools that are situated in the city don’t have loans too? Well, I’m pretty sure, that some of the city government schools hire teachers from the private schools on private salaries and where possibly does that private money come from? Not letting questions get us off-the-course, allow me to tell you that with such boldness as exhibited by Hon. Kasaija to the Private Sector which is a bigger contributor to the employment pool, our nation’s economy still has a century to recover.
On the other hand, since June 2020, the President, the Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Finance have been promising a stimulus package to the most hit sectors of the economy. First of all which sectors of the economy are hit worst? Is it the Entertainment industry which has spent 18 months closed, or it’s the tourism industry which has has been opened since October 2020? Think and find out. However, my biggest question here is; how much money has the government set aside to provide this stimulus?
As Ugandans our urge to the government is simple, if the ministries of health and finance can’t quicken the purchase of the vaccines and provide enough stimulus packages, then it’s better off we are let into the society to make money to sustain ourselves and also keep our economy thriving. I am aware that COVID kills and I condole with all those Ugandans who have lost their loved ones to this deadly virus but we also ought to know that hunger and depression kill too. Therefore, as people have always died of the sicknesses in the past, we can live with this while we make money. After all, even when we lock-down the country, people still die. However, we won’t die as people think, since we already have scientists who work tooth and nail to provide either medicine or vaccine to the disease and virus.
For God and My Country
About the Writer.
Ahebwe Brian is a university student doing a degree in Automotive and Power Engineering. He is also a fellow at Writer’s Space Africa – Ugandan Chapter. He is also a volunteering Human Resource Manager at Debate Institute Africa. He serves in the 17th Guild Leadership at Kyambogo University.