President Museveni on Tuesday said that a team of experts is studying the status of Uganda’s fight against COVID-19, to help him issue new guidelines before the expiry of the lockdown period on May 5.
Mr Museveni was addressing the nation on the status of coronavirus pandemic in Uganda.
“When we announced the extension of the lockdown staying at home, we said it would end on May 5. But before that, our people are studying [the situation] intensely. We shall give you the new guidelines before the date of May 5 comes. We shall tell you what next,” he said. “But what we shall give you will be determined by the study not suppositions, not just imposing things on the situation but on the studies being carried out quietly to know where we are in terms of the sickness.”
With 79 cases, Uganda has registered the smallest number of COVID-19 patients in the region. Tanzania has registered 299 cases, Kenya 374 while Rwanda has 207 cases.
In Uganda, 52 people have recovered from COVID-19 after intensive and specialised care.
Mr Museveni said it was wrong for Members of Parliament to share Shs10 billion; where each got Shs10 million, to reportedly use it to fight coronavirus.
“It is morally reprehensible for MPs to give themselves money for personal use when the country is in such a crisis; and totally unacceptable to me and to the NRM,” he said.
He said that he agreed with Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to ensure that the MPs surrender the money to their respective district COVID-19 task forces where it would be properly spent and accounted for.
“When I met with the Speaker, I told her they should get out of that trap and the best way to do it is by not spending this money on themselves. I agreed with the Speaker to donate that money to the district task forces,” he said.
He said that he would write to the Auditor General to audit how some MPs who have already spent the money to allegedly buy relief items, spent the money.
“The Auditor General will have to come in and audit those who became purchasing officers so that we clear this. Ugandans don't be so angry and be diverted from our war. If they already spent it, they can pay it back. To spend on yourself is a terrible thing,” he said.
He expressed dismay that Mityana MP, Mr Francis Zaake was arrested and detained for distributing food yet National Resistance Movement MPs, including ministers, have been distributing the items, contrary to the coronavirus control guidelines.
"Why arrest MP Zaake and then you leave other people including NRM ministers?" Mr Museveni asked.
He said that although sectors like tourism and hotels have been affected by the lockdown, other sectors that manufacture items related to sanitation and COVID-19 control and prevention, have sprouted.
Mr Museveni said that although some cargo transporters have tested positive for COVID-19, stopping them to enter Uganda would be suicidal since other forms of cargo transportation like trains, ships and planes that would be used for Uganda’s imports and exports, are not fully developed.
Mr Museveni said he has instructed the Works and Transport ministry to ensure that the truckers stay in designated places apart from lodges and hotels to prevent contact with the population.
He said only one person [the driver] will be allowed to travel in the truck