President urges Vigilance in face of New COVID 19 Variant

Sunday, May 2, 2021

STATE HOUSE , ENTEBBE: President Yoweri Museveni has called for more vigilance in the fight against Covid19 in the face of a new more dangerous variant that has been detected in the country.

“Have you seen what is happening in India? Ugandans, I appeal to you to maintain the status quo until we have immunized a minimum number of people. To be on the safe side, let us immunize a minimum of between 5 – 7million people then we can open up curfew. A new Covid -19 variant is already here and more dangerous,” he said, adding, that people should remain vigilant in the fight against the pandemic. 

Uganda has so far recorded only 340 deaths. Neighbouring Kenya has registered 2,688 deaths, Sudan 2349, Somalia 713, Rwanda 332 and South Sudan 114 deaths according to reports.

The President was today speaking at a virtual scientific ceremony to commemorate this years International Labour Day under the theme, “Enhancing Innovation for Increased Employment Creation and Labour Productivity: A Sustainable Covid-19 Response.” The ceremony was held at State House Entebbe and was attended among others; by the Vice President H.E Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi, the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, the First Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Moses Ali, the Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny Dollo, and Cabinet Ministers.

On the issue of employment creation, President Museveni noted that since 1986, the NRM manifestos have always clearly addressed the issue of employment in the country. 

“We are going to create the jobs. The problem is the reluctance to take our advice, which has worked. The jobs are there but they will only come in big numbers if we listen to NRM's principle no.3-social economic transformation. I was looking at the figures of 1969 and the Ugandans working in the factories. Only about 30,000 something were working and now we have 700,000. This proves that if we get more factories we shall create more jobs,” he said.

The President said people need to understand the target of Socio-economic transformation by emphasizing the four sectors of commercial agriculture to create jobs, building factories, creating service and backing up ICT. 

“The moment everyone agrees and grasps the strategy of socio-economic transformation, the question of jobs creation would be well answered and will eradicate poverty in the country,” he said. 

On the issue of minimum wage, the President used the example of China which he said in the last 43 years since China opened up, it was able to attract a lot of investment because of lower labour costs. He warned that if the issue of minimum wage is handled carelessly, it would discourage industrialization.

The President said the next important issue is to agree on the quality of labour by promoting human resource development through the education and health sectors.

He said after putting the four sectors in place, consolidating market integration and building the infrastructure….stamping out corruption that distorts the process of development is the next government’s strategic move.  

“In the next kisanja, we shall talk more seriously about this issue. The politeness is a waste of time”, he said.

On the issue of exporting labour, Mr. Museveni said that he does not support the idea of externalizing labour. 

During the ceremony, the President launched the National Action Plan on the Elimination of Child Labour in Uganda 2021-2025.

The UN-Resident Coordinator Rosa Malango said that the UN is committed to solidarity with workers and security a good working relationship in between government and the private sector.

 She condemned the practice of child labour and exploitation of workers and called for protection of women from harassment.

The Minister of Labour, Gender and Social Development Hon. Frank Tumwebaze said that Labour day was worth celebrating to recognise the contribution of workers in various categories in every sector of employment who have enhanced production.

Speaking on behalf of the Federation of Uganda Employers, Dr Silver Mugisha said applauded the President for the idea of the development of parish model, which he said will increase production of raw materials to enhance industrial production.