Ugandan travellers protest a government policy that requires Ugandans returning home to part with $1400 (about Shs5.2million) on their return.
The money is meant for their accommodation at Central Inn Entebbe for 14 days excluding meals.
“Not sure who chose this facility (Central Inn in Entebbe) or what criteria was used where Uganda is enforcing a quarantine for returning residents, citizens and others at their own cost $1400 (Shs5.2million) per person. The traveler is supposed to foot the bill of being quarantined at that establishment. The Shs5.2m is just for accommodation. Ofcourse one needs food. Can you guess how much it costs at a place that charges 100$ for accommodation?” a furious Mwesigye Bwesigire notes.
“The assumption is that somebody who travels, by air moreover can afford this, some fools have said as much already, the types who defend every shit that the government releases. These fools if they had minds couldn’t imagine people who use commuter passenger taxis that stop in Kitooro, and jump onto boda boda to reach the airport. I know people like that. Not everybody who travels by air sometimes owns a car or belongs to “the middle class”.”
“Predatory is a euphemism for this situation. Of course the desire to make an extra buck, fraud, swindling, otherwise called hustling comes first, before public health imperatives. Making money, kweyiiya is the primary motive for this, COVID-19 is just another opportunity.”
In his complaint, researcher and journalist Angelo Izama reechoed Bwesigire’s statement.
“The assumption that people traveling abroad can afford to fork out $1400 is problematic. I was once volunteering to escort distressed domestic workers returning from the the UAE. At Dubai airport a young woman from Teso told us she won’t have transport to leave Entebbe. Together with Embassy officials ( and the staff and driver) we contributed enough to get her bus travel back to Soroti. No one can say what financial circumstances individuals face. This policy is predatory at best.”
Owing to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) the Government of Uganda issued a directive last week implementing enhanced screening and quarantine measures.
On March 7, 2020, the Ministry of Health imposed self-quarantine requirements for asymptomatic travelers and in-hospital isolation requirements for all symptomatic travelers arriving in Uganda after recent stays (within 14 days of arrival) in several countries most seriously impacted by COVID-19.