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By Otim Nape

President Yoweri Museveni is making one of his first trips outside the capital Kampala since Uganda confirmed its first Covid-19 case last weekend.

President Museveni has addressed the nation five times in a space of one week, issuing a raft of preventive measures, including those on closure of education institutions, suspension of gatherings and public transport, as well as restrictions on access to markets and offices.

Before heading to the Karamoja district of Moroto “for state duties,” Museveni, who wore a face mask, reiterated: “in the face of Covid-19, let us continue behaving cautiously, maintain social distance, wash hands as many times, and those sneezing please keep away from the public.”

But some people, including the UPDF, Police and LDUs, have been interpreting Museveni’s additional measures announced Wednesday evening as meaning that he had placed the capital Kampala and other towns under a curfew.

Yesterday, the president announced a ban on public transport and issued regulations on access to markets, restricting them to foodstuffs. (See: CORONAVIRUS: MUSEVENI BANS PUBLIC TRANSPORT FOR TWO WEEKS, ORDERS MARKETS TO SELL FOODSTUFFS ONLY). On Thursday, security operatives ordered shops and arcades closed, and chased people off the streets.

But Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Minister Amelia Kyambadde later clarified on the limit of Museveni’s directives, cautioning officers to tread carefully on thrashing Ugandans, and nationals to go slow on harassing foreign investors. (See: COVID-19: MINISTER KYAMBADDE WARNS LDUS, POLICE AGAINST BEATING UGANDANS, CLOSING ARCADES, BEER DEPOTS, RESTAURANTS).

To bolster Minister Kyambadde’s clarification and ward off fake news mongers, Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo tweeted: “President Museveni hasn’t imposed any curfews either in Kampala, other towns or villages as a response to Coronavirus. Refer to official guidelines only. Ignore fake news, false news currently circulating on social media as disinformation.”

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