Due to the continued increase in commodity prices, some political leaders have warned of possible hoarding and other illegal economic practices that may plunge the country into crisis.
The observation was made by Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) leader Major General Mugisha Muntu.
In the 1970s, political crisis led to a dip in the economy, and subsequently high prices of commodities. Hoarding, locally known as magendo became the order of the day, as citizens struggled to access the basic commodities, further plunging the country into a dark period.
Mugisha Muntu fears the country maybe headed back to this as escalating prices for basic goods drive citizens to do anything to survive.
Muntu said, “Everyone is worried because we seem to be heading back to those days of the 70s where people used to wash clothes with paw paw leaves. If nothing is done and very quickly, then there's no guarantee that economic practices like hoarding won't return as people look to fill this gap that has been created by the harsh economic environment.”
Some sections of the public have suggested emergency interventions that include temporary tax exemptions and emergency relief aid as this may be a short term solution to the crisis.
But Muntu is skeptical that the ruling NRM can adopt such a measure since the national reserves have constantly been drained by electoral seasons like the just concluded one in 2021.
"This problem has been created by the NRM. Every time we have an election, the national reserves are raided to rent support and buy votes for the NRM. This is not the first time and we're therefore paying a price for having the wrong people leading this country,” Muntu added.
For the former woman member of parliament Ngora district and party mobilizer Alice Alaso, the crisis has been compounded by untamed corruption that has frustrated all avenues of production. Until this addressed, the country is headed for the worst.
As a way of reducing public expenditure and wastage, government through the ministry of public service has proposed phasing out of purchasing vehicles for public servants but rather offer them loans to buy private cars.
Even then, Muntu says proposal is long overdue and over taken by events to heal the current crisis.