FEATURE: Ending exploitation begins with you! How to spot, report price hiking

Kampala – High price of basic goods campaign in Uganda is not a joke, President Museveni urged Ugandans to not accept this profiteering amid COVID-19 pandemic that climaxed into a lockdown, RedPepper Digital‘s Jolly Gwari reports.

Since the lockdown process started, Ugandan traders/businessperson have been hiking prices both in villages and in town. Some shops/ businesses are accused of hiking up prices to more than double as shoppers stock up in case of a coronavirus lockdown. Notably, price gouging is illegal according to President Museveni.

In his fourth address, he ordered for the prosecution of any business that engages in price gouging after a disaster that is going on in the country.

“Nothing has caused prices of foodstuffs to be hiked. The bananas we had yesterday are the same today, the maize is the same. So the crooks who are taking advantage of coronavirus to hike prices of foodstuffs anywhere in this country will be arrested and their licenses revoked.”

He said.  President Museveni issued stern warnings about price hiking to businesses in times of this pandemic disease. The public is advised to account for any unreasonable price increase for face-masks, hand sanitizers, and food, and file complaints.

Notably, four traders were detained by police officers on 24, March 2020 in Koboko- northern Uganda for allegedly taking advantage of the alarming lockdown in the country to hike commodity prices. The police locked the shops and arrested three Indians and a Ugandan trader for allegedly hiking prices of essential goods like salt, sugar and other items. The four were picked up by security personnel after a tip-off by locals and customers after realizing a drastic change in the price of salt. They had allegedly increased the price of a carton of salt from 25,000 to 90,000 Shillings and a packet of salt from 800 to 5,000 Shillings.

In Kiruhura- Western Uganda, price hiking has not been eliminated. Sources say a bar of soap is at 2000shillings doubling its normal price of 1000 shillings.

To report a business you think is price gouging follow the steps below;

  • Take picture of goods and price tag attached to them
  • Ask for a receipt
  •  Record a voice note while asking price of goods.
  • Share on all social media
  • Tag Uganda police.
  • Take note of the name and location of the shop/supermarket in your social media post.

A section of concerned Ugandans took it to social media to shared their opinions

 Lilly Upendo It’s not good to hike, but imagine he also bought it highly from the manufacturing industry, he has to hike to get his/her money. The only thing, gov’t should deal with the industry who hike the price & not the common trader.

James M. Omara-OgwangLilly Upendo no! For most of them its old stock which was there before the advent of coronavirus! And how do you explain the hiking of prices of other foodstuffs like beans? This is just pure greed that must be dealt with resolutely!

Bob Akiiki Lilly Upendo Let us not imagine. The truth is guys are just exploiting the poor people

Lilly Upendo Most sellers I asked why they increased prices in a fortnight, they told me they increased the purchasing price at factories. Though I wondered even beans, posho etc, however, I told them this is period we should join hands together, work together & not exploit the poor majority.

Kia Shadrack Lilly Upendo remember this salt even if imported it was before the crisis even so the government has never restricted the movement of cargo within or outside, this is pure monopoly salt dealer in north exploiting the situation, it has nothing to do with manufacturers

Precious Jude Wasike Police go to Mbale also especially Busiu and Bumasikye s/counties

Gladys Mbabazi I think maintaining fair prices for food is only possible if the government manages or takes over fuel supply in the country. Am sure everyone has noticed a change in the fuel prices already, and this means alot to the trader. How do you expect a business person to manage this challenge?? I know there are some individuals who are opportunists, but other even the most holly ones will have no choice but increase prices if the cost of transportation is high.

Obed Edward Mr President you are doing the most right thing. If you can always continue being tough like that on corruption, on the mafias, on generally all which is against the wellbeing of the wananchi, I promise you would not have any opposition. I congratulate you for your efforts in ensuring protection of the wananchi from this deadly epidemic Corona.

David Stone: You see how stupid we can panic, a govt that strategizes also farms. In Uganda farming was left to subsistence farmers and a few rich guys. Serious govts have govt farms and emergency stores.I wonder how the president is going to implement such a policy, good thing his people own these businesses,u don’t believe it check all supermarkets around towns. Let’s wait

Gracious Alpha Mr. President sir. I think its high time your MPs start showing kind hearts to the people of their constituencies by at least giving them soap for hygienic purposes

Birungi Monica Mariam A leader who’s God-fearing thinks about his people. Thank you, Mr. President, ur concern. Let the action begin about all ur directives.

Kibuuka Medie Kyemeza Talk about, water and electricity bills, rent at work, waiving taxes on basic needs and loans!!!

Col Viatori Here in Karungu Buhweju it cost 2500

Agenonga Crist Just send for us the government toll-free number for quick update on those intending to hike prices

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