Uganda’s Museveni says schools to reopen in January
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said schools, shut since March 2020 owing to the coronavirus pandemic, will reopen early next year regardless of currently low vaccination uptake.
“Be informed that the schools will be opened in January and the rest of the economy will be opened in the same month,” Museveni said on Thursday.
“Vaccination is key to the reopening of the economy,” he said, even though fewer than three million jabs have been doled out for a population of roughly 45 million.
“By the end of December 2021, 12 million people should have been vaccinated,” forecast Museveni, including vulnerable people and health and education workers.
Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, urged Ugandans to “walk to the health centres or be carried there … go by motorcycle taxi, go by bicycle or go by vehicle and be immunised”.
“Even if you don’t come out for vaccination, we will open the schools and the economy,” he said.
“If anything goes wrong, the moral responsibility is yours.”
Museveni last month lifted the bulk of COVID-19-related restrictions in the country, which has seen just more than 3,000 deaths from the virus, but he left schools shuttered.
Some students have taken up manual jobs to support their families through the pandemic.
“Sometimes you get little money like … 10,000 shillings ($2.80),” 17-year-old Mathias Okwako, who works at a gold mine in eastern Uganda, said.
Other students worry they may never catch up on the school work they have missed.