KAMPALA – Captain Mike Mukula, the National Resistance Movement-NRM party vice chairperson for Eastern Uganda has weighed in on impacts of coronavirus on Uganda’s economy with much of the country in lockdown.
He says coronavirus is having a profound and serious impact on the global economy and has sent policymakers looking for ways to respond.
In an interview with Globe-News’ Joseph Sabiiti, Captain Mukula, who is a businessman says China’s experience so far shows that the right policies make a difference in fighting the disease and mitigating its impact—but some of these policies come with difficult economic tradeoffs.
He says some sectors, like aviation, tourism, and hospitality, will see lost demand and that ‘this demand is largely irrecoverable.”
The outbreak brought terrible human suffering in the world, as it is continuing to do elsewhere, along with significant economic costs.
By all indications, he says the slowdown in the first quarter of 2020 will be significant and will leave a deep mark for the year in all countries.
What started as a series of sudden stops in economic activity, quickly cascaded through the economy and morphed into a full-blown shock simultaneously impeding supply and demand—as visible in the very weak January-February readings of industrial production and retail sales.
The coronavirus shock is severe even compared to the Great Financial Crisis in 2007–08, as it hit households, businesses, financial institutions, and markets all at the same time—first in China and now globally.
But the former Soroti Municipality MP says the economy of Uganda would continue to thrive and he trusts President Museveni and his administration have a massive plan for Uganda amid coronavirus escalation.
As COVID-19 cases overwhelm intensive care units around the world especially the US, UK, Spain and Italy, Captain Mukula, a formers state minister of health also lauds President Museveni on the visionary leadership including making timely decisions to close the airport and all borders.
“If he didn’t close the border, we would possibly hit the same situation Italy is facing now,” Captain Mukula says, noting that “closing the airport was the best decision Uganda has so far taken in the struggle against coronavirus.”
“The directives were core and strategic and if people don’t adhere to his directives and guidelines issued by Ministry of Health, then you know that we’re in deep trouble,” he adds.
Asked on those who allegedly used their positions to ferry relatives out of mandatory quarantine, he says: “I think a decision will be taken at the highest level by the president.”
If anybody adulterated the law and put the lives of many Ugandans in danger because of his position, the President will take appropriate action.
Will an emergency response to the disease send us out of the frying pan of the virus, into the fire of economic breakdown?
Captain Mike Mukula talks to Globe-News.