NOTU, the National Organisation of Trade Unions and Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), have appealed to government and President Museveni to open up the country because “Ugandans can live with COVID-19.”
The two workers’ unions insist that government may register the biggest losses in the long run if they don’t open up the country for business as the world waits for the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to them, normal business and activities can take place with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place which they recommend, be enforced by the government.
Usher Wilson Owere, the Chairman of NOTU, believes that scientists in Uganda and abroad have already done enough to establish where COVID-19 came from and how it can be prevented.
“Let the government and scientists start planning on how we can live with coronavirus. Schools, airport, churches, mosques and all other workplaces must be opened. I strongly ask the government to open up everything, including schools, all work places, places of worship, including the country’s only international airport, but continue with SOPs in all areas,” Owere told the press.
Everest Kayondo, the KACITA chairperson, like Owere maintains that Ugandans can live with the virus and says the association is planning to pen a strong letter to the government, questioning the “relevance of the continued lockdown.”
“Issues of arcades and malls [for instance] are just names in detail. If you go to the US, they are called ‘malls’ and if you go to the United Kingdom, they are called ‘arcades’. There is no difference. Let them just provide SOPs so that people can work,” Kayondo said.
“Even when it comes to schools, they should just be given SOPs and allow them to handle the rest. I don’t see why these things are not ending. I don’t understand why the government is insisting on closing anything at all. All these places should be opened and given SOPs,” he further said.
It remains uncertain how and when government will completely open up the nation and end the over four months of lockdown that Ugandans have been subjected to since March.