Because of Corona, the virus spreading COVID 19 disease, the Forum for Democratic Change is unable to hold our regular weekly media briefing at our headquarters, at Najjanankumbi. Most of our staff and volunteer workers are using public transport which government shut down on Thursday March 26th. We had also taken a decision as a party to send our staff away during this difficult period so they observe social distance.
On behalf of the FDC, I would like to once again express our sympathy to all of you Ugandans because of what you are going through. We would like to remind you that there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID 19. It spreads mainly from person to person. We appeal to you to observe all the measures the experts have announced. These are not domestic but universal measures observed by everyone.
They include the following;
- STAY HOME: The best way to prevent COVID 19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Please stay home and only move out to buy food, medicine and may be to help those in need.
- CLEAN YOUR HANDS: Clean your hands properly with soap and water especially after you have been in public, or after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Please don’t just pour water on your hands and walk away. Wash your hands thoroughly.
- AVOID TOUCHING: Don’t shake hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- CLEAN AND DISINFECT touched surfaces including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- GO FOR CHECK UP when you develop COVID 19 symptoms such as coughing, difficulty in breathing and high temperature.
- SAVE YOURSELF AND OTHERS.
APPEAL TO GOVERNMENT
We welcome all the measures so far announced by government including the most difficult one of staying home. However, these measures must as of a necessity be accompanied by relief especially to the urban poor. People are desperate for food because majority are a “hand to mouth” lot mere ya leero. We can use money meant for none essential recurrent expenses such as travel inland, workshops, travel abroad and donation under state house. We can also suspend works on some roads and other infrastructure and use the money to buy food.
We need to buy protective gears for our medical workers and medical equipment that is needed to take care of the sick. We can’t rely on donations from World Health Organization for essential items such as testing tits as we have been told. Time delivery of the above is critical.
We once again appeal to Police, UPDF, LDUS and all security agencies to respect human dignity something they are not used to. Don’t make an already bad situation worse by battering citizens in an attempt to enforce government measures. We condemn the beating and molesting especially of women that took place on Kampala streets last week. The perpetrators must be brought to book.
These are hard times and security must gently handle our people who are hunting for food. Of course this is not to encourage lawlessness. We appeal to you dear citizens not to take advantage of this bad situation to steal or rob.
Parents had just completed payment of school fees in some schools. Next term whenever it starts, parents must pay half because their children stayed at school for a month or less in case of senior ones and senior fives. We don’t expect schools to charge full fees knowing what happened to the first term. The ministry of education has a duty to protect parents.
OUR APPEAL TO THE RICH
This is the time to show humanity. Please donate food items to the poor. This can be done through religious organizations and village councils. As FDC we are collecting food items from our leaders and supporters which we will hand over to the religious organizations.
Finally we want to thank health workers who are risking their lives and security personnel.
Let us fight the disease together.
Ibrahim Ssemujju Ibrahim