Katsigazi warns Ugandans against protesting over skyrocketing commodity prices
Major General Tumusiime Katsigazi, Deputy Inspector General of Police (IGP)

Maj Gen Tumusiime Katsigazi, Deputy Inspector General of Police (IGP), has warned that protesting over skyrocketing commodities prices will not be tolerated.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police (IGP), Maj Gen Tumusiime Katsigazi, has issued a warning that they will not take lightly any individuals caught engaging in protests over skyrocketing commodity prices.

Since last week, a number of videos, audios and text messages of malicious propaganda, instructing all members of the public to stay in their homes for three days from the 25th to the 27th of July, 2022 as part of their alleged campaign against inflation in the country. 

The videos were also calling on the general public to take part in the peaceful strike over the inflated prices.

However, while speaking about these planned strikes on Sunday, Gen Katsigazi said they will arrest and detain all individuals caught taking part in the strikes. He said they also carrying out investigations to also arrest all individuals who are circulating the inciting information on social media.

“They are scaring people for nothing and we would like to assure them that we are not sleeping and are still in charge because those bad elements want to disrupt people’s businesses. We are investigating the source of such information and we shall arrest all those behind such threats,” Katsigazi said.

“Nobody has the capacity to lock down a city like Kampala other than the government of Uganda and if somebody turns up and stops people from accessing the city by one way or the other we shall arrest them,” he added.

This comes at a time when many Ugandans continue to decry the surge in prices of several commodities including fuel with a little petrol and diesel being sold between sh6,000 and sh7,000 across the country.

Speaking to the country last week in a televised address, President Museveni said the government cannot consider subsidising prices of goods such as fuel because it would be suicidal.

As an immediate solution to the skyrocketing prices.

Museveni said subsidies would mislead the people to overbuy and consume a particular item without economising which would in the end inflate the country. 

He said the subsidies will also lead to the encroachment of the foreign reserves, which are $4b, and then create a situation similar to what is in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, the country’s foreign reserves dropped because they couldn’t import fuel and other necessities, prompting protests and the fall of the government. 

“Me as a rebel, when I see this situation and I say, we must migrate to something else, not subside…Because when we subside, people will continue buying more and more. You will create an artificial comfort to the people for them to think things are normal when they aren’t normal and you do that by bleeding yourself,” Museveni said. 

He raised it is better to continue buying commodities expensively than to face a shortage. He said the shortage of tax collection will also stall development projects.

“There is a difference between high prices and a shortage of commodities, so which is better? In this situation, the biggest challenge is that we can no longer have plenty. Taxes are meant for development. We want to build new roads and other projects and when we cut taxes or subsidize commodities, the projects are stopped and money is taken for eating and buying fuel to drive cars,” he added.