President Museveni has said he is thinking of banning public transport means in favour of bicycles as one of the measures to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
Addressing the nation on Tuesday at the State Lodge in Nakasero, Museveni said he is still puzzled with public transport means that he said might be used to spread the virus.
Public transport is a problem I am still worried of in my head. I was thinking of bicycles. If cities and towns had enough bicycles, by now I would have suspended public transport in towns. I have talked to Luweero industries and told them to urgently put up a bicycles factory,”Museveni said.
He noted that he had also talked to the Uganda Manufacturers Association chairperson, Barbara Mulwana and Trade and Industry Minister, Amelia Kyambadde to see if the Road-master bicycle factory in Namanve can be revived.
The president said if the virus persists, public transport means will be banned in favour of bicycles.
“If this virus persists we shall get rid of public transport and promote bicycles. For long distances, we may have to suspend them. I we solve the problem of transport by use of bicycles, for long distances will have to be suspended.”
Hiking commodity prices
Museveni also addressed the issue of hiked prices for a number of commodities especially those used at home and those used to prevent the spread of the virus like masks and sanitizers.
He urged the public to avoid the overpriced sanitizers in favour of soap and water, saying these do a similar job.
“There are crooks hiking prices for sanitizers. You don’t need sanitizers because soap is enough to kill the virus. They should not overcharge you. If they over hike them leave them and use soap,”Museveni said.
Since last week, prices for key necessities at home like food have more than doubled as members of the public panic to buy and stock at home in preparation for a possible lockdown as the deadly coronavirus pandemic persists.
Museveni however, warned that government will be forced to intervene by cancelling licences for traders hiking prices for food and other items.
“I want to warn those people that I will send spies and if I find anybody hiking prices of food I will cancel his licence. You are crooks. What has happened to make the prices go up? What has changed to make things expensive,”Museveni wondered.
Museveni described these traders as crooks whom he warned against taking advantage of the current situation to hike prices to disadvantaged members of the public.
“For anybody who is overcharging, we shall cancel their licence. We shall send people to pretend as if they are buying to get you. We shall cancel your licence never to return it.”
“I can organize NRM cadres from villages to bring food to towns because we have ever done it. We can organize a parallel chain to sell food at lower prices.”