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KAMPALA – Just like many have hypothesized that one of the points future investors will factor in when deciding on a destination is how different countries coped with the coronavirus crisis. And going by President Yoweri Museveni’s latest comments, then Uganda is sure to stand out.
Speaking during the International Labour Day celebrations on Friday, May 1, President Museveni said he was yet to see any country across the globe that was as safe as Uganda. This he attributes to the way Uganda has handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During this crisis, quiet a number of people have seen that Uganda may be safer than many places in the world,” President Museveni said.
“And you fellows who like to travel…me I only travel when I have no alternative,” he added.
He revealed that when he has a little time, to relax and appreciate nature, he goes to his country home in Rwakitura or Kisozi.
“For me when I get a little time, I go to Rwakitura or kisozi. Because I have never seen any part of the world which is better than Uganda, I have never seen it,” he said.
He wondered what those who go abroad on holiday, are looking for yet Uganda was secure and more stable.
“I suspect, If God gets us through this crisis, even these opportunistic sectors- these ones of tourism, what, what -the fair weather people [tourists] may rush here,” the President said, adding that this would be so because, “this place seems to be stable, secure.”
Just like many sectors of the economy, tourism related organizations and companies have not been spared as their staff are now worried of being laid off while many others will get a pay cut or no salary due the prolonged lockdown and its associated effects.
The 5 weeks ‘stay home’ lockdown with exception of essential services led to the closure of all entry borders and also halted flights into and out of the country, as well as suspension of primate tourism in all protected areas.
However, Museveni argues that laying off workers during this crisis is not a good idea especially because things are going to improve. Instead, he suggests that these workers are sent on leave and recalled when the situation normalizes.
“I am very optimistic we are going to be stronger after this crisis,” he said.
As of May 1, 2020, Uganda has so far recorded 85 cases of the novel coronavirus with no single death. Out of the 85 infections, 52 have full recovered and were discharged from hospital and quarantine centres.
With these latest statistics, President Yoweri Museveni, will decide on Monday May 4, whether to start easing a lockdown that has in the past 5 weeks kept everyone at home with exception of essential workers.
– Labour Day –
Labour Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. The day has its origins in the 19th-century labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.
For most countries, Labour Day is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers’ Day, which occurs on 1 May.
In Uganda, the event [worker’s day] was supposed to happen in Mbarara, but due to prevailing challenges of COVID-19, government of Uganda opted for ‘scientific’ celebrations at State House, Entebbe.