Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has warned “crooks” who are hiking prices of foodstuffs and basic commodities in the face of coronavirus pandemic that they will face arrest.

Addressing the nation on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, his fourth time in a week, the President said such people also risk losing their trading licences.

“There are crooks hiking prices of food. I will send spies if they find you hiking prices, I will withdraw your licence. I may organise the NRM cadres to bring the food from the village and sell at a proper price. I won the crooks not to lead us to temptation but deliver us from evil,” he added.

Museveni was addressing the nation on the next measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic after eight more cases were confirmed in the country on Tuesday morning.

He revealed that despite the rising cases, the country has shown capacity to contain them.

“We have tried to put measures in place like blocking flights and closing of borders, we may have done it a bit late but we had to notify all the other parties. Otherwise, this disease is manageable, do not worry, all you have to do is listen to what we tell you and we shall defeat it,” Mr Museveni said.

The President revealed that all those who travelled from Dubai with the confirmed cases have been identified.

“All the patients have been identified. But they had mixed with people. The vigilant team will trace the people and test them. President Museveni: Funnily, I’m happy that we’re fighting this disease instead of hearing from others. The first victim’s temperature has come down and his appetite is coming back. His red eyes are clearing too,” he said.

The President further urged Ugandans to continue taking the existing precautionary measures.

“Do not get close to anybody sneezing and coughing to be near. Do not do anything without washing your hands. There are people who are crooks who are hiking the prices of sanitizers. You don’t need it, the soap can kill the virus if you leather the soap. Those crooks should not hold you hostage. The crude soap may even be better.There is a possibility that COVID 19 can be treated, therefore those trying to hide are endangering themselves and the people around them,” he said.

“Postpone those journey if you have to use public transport. Let’s see how far these people who left the airport went plus their associates. If we see more problems we shall suspend public transport. If the towns had enough bicycles, I would suspend public transport. It is even healthier. If the virus persists, we shall suspend public transport and promote bicycles. We may also have to suspend the long-distance journey.”

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