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Ugandans need production not riots

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th August 2011 03:00 AM

A fortnight ago, Activists-for-Change, an opposition group, announced in Masaka that they would resume the walk-to-work campaign to protest the high cost of living.

A fortnight ago, Activists-for-Change, an opposition group, announced in Masaka that they would resume the walk-to-work campaign to protest the high cost of living.

Last week, there were running battles between the Police and members of the opposition who wanted to hold an illegal rally in Kireka.

With reduced local production, prices of basic items like sugar are out of reach for many. As a stop-gap measure, the Government has waived taxes on imported sugar. Difficult times should draw well-intentioned minds together for remedial interventions.

President Museveni’s invitation to the opposition to suggest alternative ideas to address inflation is laudable. For instance, now that the rains are back, all leaders should be rallying farmers to plant fast-maturing crops.

Resuming the walk-to-work campaign is reckless and will not achieve the desired results. What happened is still fresh in our minds.

The chaos that ensued disrupted the little production and transportation of essential services. People lost their lives and others were injured. A resumption of the same antics will complicate an already difficult situation and curtail efforts to stem inflation.

Uganda can draw hard lessons from the riots that flared in England. The events were a primitive and destructive and costly reminder of the dangers inherent in anarchical protests. Regardless of our political leaning, national interests should come first.

Ugandans must decide whether to swim or sink together. As the Police have often warned, Uganda is a target of global terrorism.

Another wave of riots could facilitate terrorists like the al-Shabaab take advantage of the chaos. If inflation is indeed the concern of the opposition, they should embrace the more productive options of addressing it.

Ugandans need production not riots

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