Don’t blame Ukraine war for rising commodity prices, FDC tells govt
What you need to know:
- The FDC spokesperson said the lives of Ugandans were battered by the numerous Covid lockdowns, and have now been worsened by the escalating prices of commodities such as sugar, soap, cooking oil and fuel.
The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has criticised President Museveni for attributing the escalating commodity prices in the country to the Ukraine-Russia war.
While attending the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) thanksgiving at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala last week, the President said the war in the two countries is responsible for the high cost of living.
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However, while addressing journalists at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Kampala, yesterday, the FDC spokesperson, Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, said prices have been steadily going up for months now yet the war started three weeks ago.
FDC condemns cattle thefts
At the same press conference, Mr Ssemujju asked the government to stop the numerous murders and theft of livestock in Teso Sub-region, especially in Kapelebyong, Katakwi and Bukedea districts. He said this has been happening since January where people are being dragged out of their houses, shot or raped.
“The number of soldiers deployed is not enough. For example on March 11, five soldiers were made to hunt down more than 50 well-armed warriors. That is how a soldier Simon Kagenya got shot at. The FDC would like to remind Mr Museveni’s government of its constitutional duty to protect life and property, ” he said.
“Mr Museveni, characteristic of his conduct, again told a big lie last week that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is responsible for the escalating prices of essential commodities, ”Mr Ssemujju said.
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“If you have been sleeping and you were awoken by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, please know this problem has been ongoing. You must now think of real measures to ease the situation,” he added. According to Mr Ssemujju, the crisis started towards the end of last year when the price of petrol rose from Shs3,800 to Shs5,000 and has never reduced.
“At the time, truck drivers, who had refused to pay for Covid test at the Kenya border were blamed. The problem of truck drivers and Covid has since been sorted but fuel prices have remained high,” Mr Ssemujju said.
The FDC spokesperson said the lives of Ugandans were battered by the numerous Covid lockdowns, and have now been worsened by the escalating prices of commodities such as sugar, soap, cooking oil and fuel.
“May be we may need to exempt some of the essential commodities such as soap and cooking oil from taxes in the short run. Something must be done and done now,” he added.
According to a mini-survey in Kampala, a bar of soap, for instance, costs between Shs8,500 and Shs10,000, up from about Shs3,500 in January.
A kilogramme of rice goes for between Shs4,500 and Shs5,000, depending on the type, up from Shs3,000, while that of maize flour (posho) has climbed to Shs3,000 from Shs1,500 in January.
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics last week said the increase in prices of commodities and services over the last 12 months ending February, has pushed Uganda’s inflation to 3.2 percent, up from 2.7 percent registered in January.