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Police warn public against hate speech

by Editorial Team
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By John Masaba

The Police say they are investigating individuals and groups from within the country and abroad that are promoting hate, panic and fear among Ugandans and visitors in the country.

The culprits, yet to be named, are spreading their messages through videos, audio and text messages, a statement released on Sunday, July 24, said.

According to Fred Enanga, the Police spokesperson, using ‘malicious propaganda’, the groups are instructing all members of the public to stay in their homes for three days, from July 25 to 27, 2022, as part of their alleged campaign against inflation in the country. 

“The authors of the recordings, in an aggressive tone, further issue threats of attack to persons, who are against their stay-at-home orders. After the three days, they claim their alleged protests will transition into open street demonstrations and mass uprisings, to purposely cause change in government. These are illegitimate and unconstitutional means that we do strongly condemn,” he said.

“For those who can remember, similar scare tactics were used by the same individuals and political groups, in February, 2021, in the aftermath of the General Elections. However, their ill-intentioned plans were rejected by the public after realising that the authors and organisers, were rallying support for street violence and civil uprisings, for their selfish political advantages. This time, they are using the surge in commodity and fuel prices to call for violence.”

Enanga explained that many countries, including the most developed, are grappling with inflation as well and as such, the problem of economic challenges in Uganda is not localised. 

‘We, therefore, urge all Ugandans and visitors in the country not to get swayed by the fear tactics, mongering and inflammatory rhetoric by the selected individuals, political groups and sponsored bloggers. They should instead look for better ways of expressing their dissatisfaction with the economy, without fronting violence. Right now, many citizens have families to feed, have to go to work, pay taxes, children are in schools and they all deserve the right to go about their activities, without fear or intimidation,” he added. 

Enanga said the joint security agencies’ task teams are ready to prevent, deter, stop and prosecute all perpetrators behind the scare tactics, aimed at causing violence and civil uprisings.

Speaking in a televised speech to the nation on Wednesday, July 20, President Yoweri Museveni reiterated that his Government wouldn’t make any interventions such as tax cuts or subsidies as this could even lead to the collapse of the economy. 

Instead, he said the Government is pursuing less injurious interventions such as promoting mass production of electric cars to prevent the reliance on expensive fossil fuels.

By press time, a litre of petrol was going for between 6,400 and sh6,600 in the city.

The rise in fuel prices is blamed for the rise in the prices of other commodities as it is a direct cost of transportation.

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