The Leader of Opposition (LOP) in parliament Hon. Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba has today decried government reluctance in tackling the worsening economic situation in the country.
Through his International Labor Day massage, Mpuuga questioned the relevancy of observing this day, against the backdrop of Ugandans who continue to suffer under the worst economic conditions and torture by security agencies.
He says as the country reels from the grim economic conditions precipitated by severel COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, there is still nothing worth celebrating.
“Consequently, many of our remarkable Workers; the doctors, nurses, teachers, members of the security forces as well as other Ugandans employed in the informal sector cannot afford some of the essentials of living,” Mpuuga said.
“Uganda’s current situation cannot call for celebration of such a day due to unprecedented youth unemployment, gross workers’ rights violations, horrible health and safety conditions among other challenges,” the Nyendo-Mukungwe legislator added.
At the moment, citizens are in a state of confusion, panic, mistrust, tension and suspicion, which has generated a toxic mixture of anger and frustration, due to unprecedented hikes in basic commodity prices.
Prices of basic household items have more than doubled to unimaginable levels, a scenario that has not manifested itself in Uganda, in decades.
Exarcabated by the Russia-Ukraine war, fuel and gas prices have also skyrocketed to terribly alarming levels, while government just looks on.
On a terribly sad note, hikes in commodity prices is not matched with increases in basic salaries and wadges of workers . This has worsened living conditions of a common man.
***Here is the LOP’s full satement
My fellow countrymen and women, this year’s International Labour Day comes at a time when the country is facing serious economic challenges partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged world economies.
The Ugandan case is worse due to the government’s reluctance to address most of the challenges that were brought about by the unprecedented COVID-19 lockdowns.
Prices for essential commodities and fuel have continued to rise majorly due to the government’s mismanagement of the COVID-19 stimulus loan from the IMF in addition to an unfair tax regime.
Consequently, many of our remarkable Workers; the doctors, nurses, teachers, members of the security forces as well as other Ugandans employed in the informal sector cannot afford some of the essentials of living.
This day comes at a time when the unemployment levels are at their peak which has led to the trafficking of many of our energetic young men and women to the Middle East to work as slaves in squalid conditions.
The multitudes of our youths that continue to trek to the Middle East every day brings a feeling that the Government might have embraced externalization of labour as an escape route to dealing with the youth whose aspirations it failed to fulfil. Regrettably, it has failed to effectively regulate labour externalization.
A few weeks ago, I received representatives of the COVID-19 frontline health workers who were unilaterally laid off on flimsy grounds despite having risked it all to offer health care support to the COVID patients.
Uganda’s current situation cannot call for celebration of such a day due to unprecedented youth unemployment, gross workers’ rights violations, horrible health and safety conditions among other challenges.
This is why, fellow countrymen, we should never relent in labouring with whatever we have, wherever we are: here at home or in the diaspora at all our different levels, to work towards liberating our country.
Every one of us must speak or act against the humiliating conditions of the majority of working Ugandans.
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