Parliament of Uganda

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Ministers for Health and Kampala respectively to make statements to the House on allegations that they did not adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) instituted to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Kalungu West Member of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Ssewungu Gonzaga said that some ministers have flouted the guidelines issued by government which among others included gatherings not having more than 10 persons, no church gatherings, closure of schools,  social distancing and putting on masks.

“The Minister of Health who is supposed to be the custodian of these regulations was over the weekend seen to be flouting the same guidelines in Lira district.  She was addressing a crowd without social distancing and neither did she have a mask,” he said.

He added that the Electoral Commission also revised the election road map from public rallies to the scientific campaigns with the advice of the same minister

“The Hon. Ruth Aceng should come and explain to us if there is Covid-19 or she is just misleading the President so that the lockdown continues,” Ssewungu added.

Hon. Allan Ssewanyana (DP, Makindye Division West), said that the Minister of State for Kampala Capital City, Hon. Benny Namugwanya was seen flouting the same guidelines.

“The Minister was seen holding a rally on Sunday in Madudu, Mubende district of over 2,000 people. They were singing and gathering and the police did not take any action. Our people are suffering; as of today over 400 people have been arrested for violating the guidelines,” he said.

Kadaga said that Ministers will have to appear before the House and explain their actions. “The Minister of Health should come and explain to us and the country whether she flouted her own guidelines. The Minister of State for Kampala should also come and explain what she was doing with the crowds,” she said.

Kadaga added that the government should be able to consider a way in which the population can learn to live with the pandemic.
“The government should also consider organising the society to manage it. How long will this lockdown continue? I think it is a problem to the people and we need an evaluation to be discussed here in the House,” she said.

Images have appeared in the media showing the Health Minister meeting people in Lira district. The development comes after she declared her intention to run for the Lira district woman seat.
The minister later said that she was at a meeting to sensitise the masses on the use of masks.