An open letter to the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
Mr. President , I address you today with all the due respect you deserve.
I have a simple question to you, “Who cares about Uganda(ns)?”
Health of Ugandans
What happened to our lovely motto; “For God and my Country?”
Where are our leaders when over 800 Ugandans are injected with water for a high cost ranging from UGX 100,000 to UGX 200,000, in the disguise of getting the Covid-19 vaccine? How many Ugandans have got all the two covid-19 vaccine jabs? How many have got only one and have failed to get the second one? How many doses have so far been brought into the country to cater for over the 40 million Ugandans? Who cares about Uganda when one has to pay 3 million before getting an admission and has to pay a daily cost of over 4 million shillings? Who cares about Uganda when one has to access his NSSF savings while in ICU, at a death bed? Who cares about Uganda when the citizens are given rotten food, milk and substandard masks? Who cares about Uganda when the regional hospitals have not yet been fully equipped with oxygen, ICU bends, and only 3,000 beds have been installed out of the 42,000 beds like you directed?
Crippling Education sector;
Children have spent close to 2 years without attending school. A few who happened to report back were later sent back home after paying the already hiked school fees.
Many schools / students resorted to online learning, and others sought learning out of the country while in the country, through attending classes online in the various online universities / institutions across the globe.
With the continued lockdown, the demand for online learning has greatly escalated. For a simple one-hour class / online meeting via zoom, teams, among other platforms, 1GB of data may be no more. And how much is a GB of data even before the 12% increment is effected? About (On average) UGX 5,000.
1. What is the internet usage / penetration in the country before the 12% increment takes effect? It is still very low.
2. How many of your Bazukulu are accessing quality education online, especially in this hard period of the pandemic? There is a reasonable increase in the number.
3. How many universities have failed to fully operate online because internet is expensive to the students, and because internet penetration is still low? Very few universities have actually succeeded in fully going online.
4. What happened to the free internet we were promised? More than 99% of the Ugandans didn’t see / access it. You will be shocked to find out that this free internet was on the buildings of the rich people in the government.
5. How many young people survive on the internet for survival? Through online shopping, bloggers, safe boda, jumia, café javas, virtual platforms? Many at the moment.
6. Churches are closed, they offer online services to their followers. Schools are closed, they are embracing online learning. Markets are partially opened, but the customers are at home. They thus order for the basic necessities of life online. Mr. President, not all these people who regard internet usage as a necessity use it to abuse you.
7. How much money are you hoping to collect from the 12% increase in internet charges? Did you achieve the anticipated revenue collection from OTT? Do you realize that internet access and usage is likely to reduce and be regarded as a “Luxury”?
Mr. President, In your last address, you ordered us to work from home, and not more than 10% in the offices*. That means more than 90% of us are working from home.
How can we work from home when the internet is not affordable?
9. We do file the URA returns online. Increase in the internet cost will greatly affect this important area as well.
10. Facebook usage; Mr. President, when the admins to your Facebook account had their accounts suspended / deleted; you switched off / shut down Facebook for the entire country. Please note that less than 1% of the Facebook users do misuse it; and over 99% use it for constructive work like advertising produce, social networking, business, among others.
All these benefits were put on hold because of your decision.
Those who continued using it todate rely on VPN (Virtual Private Network), which consumes alot of data.
Mr. President, don’t you think that you were insensitive to majority of the Ugandans?
In conclusion Mr. President;
1. The 12% increase in internet / data usage is likely to do more harm than the anticipated good, and will go a long way in complicating the already complicated education system and the entire economy in our beloved country.
I actually believe that, this is the right point in time, to make internet as cheap as possible, or perhaps make it free (by providing the earlier on promised free internet), to make it affordable to all the Ugandans, otherwise, “NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE UGANDANS ANYMORE”.
2. We shall obey all the SOPs and guidelines Given, But please revise your decision on increasing the internet cost.
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