By Gad Masereka
Kampala, January 15, 2024 – Alhaji Latif Ssebagala, the former member of parliament for Kawempe North, has voiced his discontent with the government’s handling of citizens during the ongoing Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Uganda. Ssebagala emphasizes the need for the government to prioritize the welfare of Ugandans over the interests of the summit and its delegates from various countries.
Ssebagala raised concerns about the treatment of the business community, stating that they have been subjected to undue hardship, with restrictions on selling their products in certain areas. He argued that these limitations have affected the livelihoods of many Ugandans who depend on such businesses for their daily sustenance.
According to Ssebagala, the impact of the summit on ordinary Ugandans goes beyond economic challenges. He emphasized that citizens are losing access to essential resources like food and money for survival due to the restrictions imposed in connection with the summit.
Expressing his frustration, Ssebagala stated, “The summit will not benefit Ugandans. It should not interfere with the daily lives and work of Ugandans. People should not lose their jobs or face disruptions in their businesses because of the summit.”
Ssebagala further criticized the idea that Ugandans should be compelled to wear smiles for the visitors attending the summit. He countered the earlier statement made by the ICT Minister, Dr. Chris Baryonunsi, asserting that everyone is free to express their emotions according to the challenges they are facing. He quipped, “Those people are yet to collect tax from those with rude faces.”
As the NAM summit progresses, Ssebagala’s remarks highlight growing concerns among some segments of the population regarding the impact of the event on the day-to-day lives of Ugandans. The government faces calls to strike a balance between hosting international events and safeguarding the well-being of its citizens.