COVID-19 relief Food: President Museveni threatens to import food over hoarding and poor quality supplies
President Kaguta Museveni has warned traders who are hoarding food items like beans and maize in the hope of selling them later after COVID-19, to make more profits saying the government will import food from Mexico or other foreign countries.
Museveni said he will choose to give the money to foreigners if he hears that there’s no enough maize and beans on market as a result of food hoarding and forget about Ugandan suppliers who think they are wise.
“I heard there were some games by some suppliers trying to hoard. I don’t like selfish people. If I hear that there is not enough maize or beans because people are hoarding from the market. I will import. It will be too bad for you, I just hear a whisper, and we shall import and forget about you! Because you want to kill your brothers, you are crooks! So please, no games,” Museveni said.
President Museveni issued the warning on Sunday 19 April 2020 night, during his address on COVID-19 status in Uganda.
Museveni adds that suppliers thinking that they are taking advantage of COVID-19 situation, he will be forced to import cheap and quality food and leave their food to rot in the stores.
“You crooks are trying to take advantage of the problem. I will import food if I hear you are hoarding food and those things of yours will rot in the store. You think you will hoard and get higher prices but we shall import and your food will rot from stores, I know those games,” Museveni warned traders.
“I warn you, if you want to kill your brothers for profits, the answer is importing,” Museveni added.
In regards to poor quality food supplied, Museveni, warned suppliers against selling out bad food saying they should stop or else eat it themselves because the government will not spare them.
“When you sell us bad food, we shall go for you. If the food is bad, don’t sell it to us. If you sell us bad food, we shall go for you, if you have bad food, don’t sell it to us, eat it yourself,” Museveni said.
The government last week temporarily halted food distribution in Kampala to the vulnerable group of people citing a shortage of beans. This slowed down food distribution in all Kampala divisions and other areas of greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.
This raised complaints from the people saying they have missed food but a problem caused by the lack of beans for distribution.
For the case of poor food quality, Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) launched a testing program on all food supplied and donated by well-wishers to help feed the vulnerable societies affected by the current COVID-19 lockdown, and on Saturday they confiscated over 100 tons of beans and maize flour over poor quality.
Ben Manyindo, the Executive Director UNBS says out of the 100 tons, 63 tons were of maize flour and 41 tons were of beans that were to be distributed to the COVID-19 lockdown affected Ugandans.
Manyindo adds that the move to check the quality of food distributed to the vulnerable communities followed several complaints from the public saying food given to them was not good enough for human consumption.
He says in just one week, 104 tons of food supplied to government and donations from well-wishers were confiscated because of poor quality.
“We have had challenges especially with beans and they are telling us it is because of the season. We have rejected many tons and they have had to take them back and return them after sorting,” Manyindo said.