UPC opposes NRM govt’s decision to limit those attending events to 200
Kampala—29, September 2021: Less than a fortnight ago, President Museveni eased some Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, and announced that places of worship should open with not more than 200 congregants. Lower and secondary schools should remain closed until next year–2022, Museveni said in his national address last week.
The pandemic has affected Uganda’s economy since last year, when the first lockdown was put in place. At that time, almost key sectors were directed to reduce on the numbers of staff; some companies had to layoff their workers, and some closed businesses indefinitely.
Experts and some politicians [including their political parties] tasked government to find a way of ensuring the economy remains stable, by reopening some key sectors.
Politically, Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) issued a series of advice to the ruling government, tasking the Museveni-led government to focus on supporting local businesses by giving it stimulus package.
With some of the key sectors now reopened, UPC says she “welcomes the government’s move to start on the safe reopening of our economy as stated in our press statement of 22 September 2021, that saw the ease on the restrictions on open markets, worship places and public gatherings limited to 200 persons, and institutions of higher learning which is due on 1st November 2021, while adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)”
However, UPC adds they have “noted with concern that there are some glaring gaps; the government did not bear in mind while easing restrictions on the aforementioned areas. For instance, limiting our worship places and public gatherings to 200 persons may again jeopardize the successes achieved in the fight against the spread of corona virus! It should be recalled that during the 2020/2021 general election campaigns, UPC called upon the Electoral Commission to revisit its measure when it also restricted political campaign gatherings/meetings to no more than 70 people at first and then increased to 200”.
Addressing the media in Kampala Wednesday, Muzey Faizo, UPC’s head of media and communications, says their advice “was and is that public gatherings should not be limited to 200 persons”.
“… but based on the size of the venue of such meetings or prayers as there are some places that cannot even accommodate the approved number! The government also should have borrowed a leaf on her public transport regulation measure. As UPC, our position on that matter has never changed.”
Now that we have opened up higher learning institutions, we call upon government to consider extending curfew hours purposely to allow evening classes/students to study.
“Most of these students are privately sponsored, day workers and that is why there is a need to revisit the curfew hours to enable them to look for resources to finance their education, balance work and studies as well as decongesting classes,” he adds.
UPC has further noted with concern from media reports that there are some public offices that have started to issue public notices threatening not to offer any services to that member of the public without a vaccination card and/or proof of vaccination.
“We understand, acknowledge and share their efforts in sensitizing and ensuring that people get their jabs. However, as of now, restricting public services to vaccination cards is a pre-matured position since there are not enough vaccines in the country. Our focus now should be ensuring the availability of Covid-19 vaccines as well as sensitizing the masses to go for them, and thereafter, we can think of such positions.”
Latest Covid-19 data
As per the ministry of health statistics for September 27, 2021 released on Wednesday 29, todate, 1,906,039 people have been vaccinated; 90,083 have recovered from the virus.
Also, a total of 123,445 cumulative cases have been recorded, 3,152 deaths. Active cases stand at 268.
Since March 2020, according to the same ministry, 1,680,863 cumulative tests have been conducted, with national test positivity rate at 3.4%.