This medical health crisis in Uganda was a century in the making, Covid just exposed it:

1st July, 2021

Author: Daniel K Kalinaki. 

So Nanyonga started dishing it out, first to friends and relatives, then to people from far and wide, for Uganda was then in the throes of the Aids epidemic. It wasn’t just villagers and peasants who came, but also the rich and the powerful. 

Nanyonga did not hit pay dirt. The soil wasn’t for sale, and she told her ‘patients’ that it would not work if they sold it on. But with Aids still enveloped in stigma, it didn’t stop a black market from emerging, of fleet-footed fellas willing to collect, for a fee, the soil from the source and deliver it to the cars of those who did not want “to be seen in people”.

In a little over a month, Ms Nanyonga had prescribed 30 tonnes of dirt, according to one estimate. But as one patient after another bit the dust, it became clear that she wasn’t the salt of the earth, and the crowds began thinning, until they eventually dried up like the Sembabule savannah.

We are reminded of the Nanyonga story because of the controversy over the covidex drug. Unlike Nanyoga’s handful of dirt, this was created by a well-regarded pharmacist, and, from what one gathers, does not claim to cure patients of the coronavirus but offers symptomatic relief, as many other things indeed do.

Regardless of what the National Drug Authority says, and regardless of whether the drug works or not, desperate people will seek it out and try it. In fact, in short order, it will be counterfeited and ‘variants’ will emerge as capitalism matches supply to demand.

 

Overall, the clamour over covidex, like the dash for Nanyonga’s dirt before, reflects a disillusionment with official solutions to real and urgent problems. In the case of Aids, it was perhaps understandable because there was no known cure or vaccine against HIV which caused it. 

With Covid, there are known vaccines that have worked elsewhere, and known treatments to save lives. Why, then, are people willing to pay an arm and a leg for a herbal therapy rather than demand for oxygen and vaccines from the government?

 The most obvious is that people are so used to privately paying for what should be public goods, that they have diminished expectations from the State. If a private hospital started offering vaccinations for a fee, many people will flock to it, even if the government claimed the vaccines were not safe or must be free. 

 But it is also possible that, deep down, we have never really relied on the State for or seen it as the primary provider of healthcare. The history of Western health care in Uganda is tied to faith-based organisations and most of the main hospitals – Mengo, Rubaga, Nsambya, Kibuli, Kitovu et cetera – were all founded by or are run by religious organisations. 

This isn’t surprising, for even in the pre-colonial era, the concept of healing was closely associated with faith and religious leaders, all of whom were lumped together under the grass thatch of ‘witchcraft’ when the missionaries arrived. 

It is easy to see why highly educated people ate Nanyonga’s soil in vain, and why many ‘prayer warriors’ today still seek spiritual assistance to physical and worldly ailments, even where science offers proven remedies. 

 Covid has undressed the tapestry of propaganda around the state of the country’s healthcare system and exposed it in many areas as dysfunctional and donor dependent. Those left standing whenever the pandemic finally passes will have to choose between a return to traditional forms of healing, or to demand for higher-quality and more affordable modern healthcare. 

That we have gone from eating dirt to inhaling a pharmacist’s concoction shows the direction of travel is towards the latter. Healthcare is finally becoming openly political, and the contests will be not in the Sembabule savannah, but in the wards and in the streets, at least of public debate. The crisis has been long in brewing, Covid has exposed and added oxygen to the fire.

Mr Kalinaki is a journalist and  poor man’s freedom fighter. 

write2kalinaki@gmail.com 

Twitter: @Kalinaki

 

 

 

 

 

How Uganda has lost the COVID19 Battle
 
 
21 June, 2021
 
By Franklin Draku

President Museveni last Friday imposed a fresh lockdown, the second in 16 months, following dramatic surge in Covid-19 deaths and infections across the country.

Tests done on June 17, 2021 confirmed 1,397 new cases – the highest on record since the pandemic outbreak in Uganda in March 2020 - taking the cumulative cases to 70,176. The deaths have nearly doubled to 625 from the first wave.
Uganda registered the first case of Covid-19 on March 21, 2020, shortly after the country’s borders were shut and everyone locked at home.

That early lockdown has been praised by, among others, the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a game-changer in the considerably low deaths and transmission during the first wave of the pandemic.

In March 2020, Covid-19 was a few months old, little was known about it and the fear of the unknown caused panic and simultaneously compliance by citizens.

The mass coronavirus deaths in developed nations such as Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain, with modern healthcare and insurance system, spelled danger – fanned in part by Melinda Gates’ comment that dead bodies would litter streets in Africa - for Uganda with a broken healthcare system.  

Through regular televised addresses, President Museveni showed strong leadership on managing the pandemic that he proclaimed as a war and invoked his bush-time guerrilla tricks to galvanise citizens and insert the military at the centre of the response.

The prescribed medicine combined a retreat - euphemism for the populations to stay home – and listen, which involved monitoring the progression of the pandemic as core to self-preservation.  

The clarion call, which Ugandans obliged to, was to make sacrifices and survive to enjoy a future without pandemic threat. In theory, it sounded civil and realistic before a problematic implementation began to erode public trust and confidence in government.

By the end of June 2020, three months after the index Covid-19 case, Uganda had recorded only 870 cases with no deaths reported. It was not until after the fourth month, on July 22, 2020, that the first Ugandan succumbed to the disease.

Even when the damage was not severe, some missteps manifested.  Foreign truck drivers were tested at the border, but allowed inland before results, leading to some of the Covid-positive to mix with and infect Ugandans.

The contacts, a reference to a person known to have orbited around an infected individual, began to peak along the highways plied by the long haulage trucks.   

Then followed money troubles, with technocrats fixing their hands in the cookie jar as subsequent Auditor General’s report showed.

First, Parliament approved huge sums of money in quick succession, in one case exceeding Health ministry budget, for which they slashed Shs10b and divided among themselves ostensibly to sensitise the voters who were locked at home.  

 

Fund (IMF) besides millions of dollars donated by the United States and other western governments.

 

 

home05pix3

A deserted street in downtown Kampala after President Museveni announced the new lockdown on Friday. The government blames operators here for violating the standard operating procedures put in place to stop the spread of Covid, with many shoppers not social distancing or wearing masks.

 

A deserted street in downtown Kampala after President Museveni announced the new lockdown on Friday. The government blames operators here for violating the standard operating procedures put in place to stop the spread of Covid, with many shoppers not social distancing or wearing masks. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA

For example, Uganda received Shs1.9 trillion from the IMF in budget support and loans channelled through Bank of Uganda, the Finance ministry and Uganda Development Bank. The country also received Shs1.2 trillion as budget support from the World Bank, Shs17.2 billion from European Union grant as budget support, Shs1.3 trillion each from Stanbic Bank, pushing total money picked in the name of Covid to Shs5.8 trillion.

The thematic audit report on Covid-19 pandemic government interventions released in February, this year, indicated a number of anomalies in the government response to the pandemic.

It notes that a total of Shs143.9 billion was irregularly spent without complying with procurement regulations. Out of this, the Ministry of Health was the biggest culprit with more than Shs100 billion spent irregularly, followed by Uganda Police Force at Shs21.3 billion while Defence and Uganda Prisons Services respectively used Shs16 billion and Shs3.5 billion irregularly.

A number of other ministries, departments and agencies, including district were also faulted for irregular procurements.
While this newspaper only picked the issue of irregular procurement to highlight the crisis, the report also pointed out a number of other anomalies in Covid-19 response amounting to billions of shillings lost.

It also emerged that government had also given out money to Silverbacks Pharmacy Ltd owned by Charlotte Kainerugaba and Ishta Asiimwe K. Muganga, both daughters of Sam Kutesa to provide oxygen plant to national and regional referral hospitals across the country. However, by the time of audit, the facilities were not installed, leading to still subsisting oxygen crisis and preventable deaths of Covid patients in the country.

Politics
During the lockdown, worship places were locked down for prayers, but politicians subscribing to ruling NRM party turned them for political campaigns.

Then a video surfaced of the Health Minister, Dr Ruth Aceng, the posterchild of the coronavirus battle, who had thrown her hat in the political ring to successful run as Woman MP, showing her in a procession of supporters in Lira.

The clip, which spread widely on social media, drew public ire with a condemnation of the minister for violating her own rule that has consigned millions home for months.

Once campaigns turned full-throttle, Covid-19 rules were largely ignored and invoked only against Opposition candidates while crowd-pulling musicians headlined processions preceding arrival of ruling party flag bearer and incumbent President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni, who distinctly complied with the rules by addressing smaller meetings.

Divisive poll
Uganda emerged from the elections polarised with one side believing that Covid-19 did not exists and was being contrived to repress while another section accepted the pandemic, but cared less because the variant as less virulent.

Thus, many people dropped the guard following the phased reopening of the country and predictions by scientists that Covid-19 would worsen during or shortly after polls never happened, with the disease exploding months after the 42-day maximum incubation of the virus.

Thus, the question that arises is: with no campaigns, no protests or huge crowd-pulling events such as concerts, why is there a dramatic upsurge in Covid deaths and infections.

To Dr Aceng, reappointed Health minister, the root cause is a new variant and laissez-faire attitude of the population.

“Unfortunately, after the elections, people forgot that there was Covid in Uganda [and SOPs became a thing] of the past. Second, the new variants. We have five variants in the country and these variants are highly transmissible, very aggressive and cause high mortality,” she said while appearing on NTV-Uganda’s On-the-Spot talk show last Thursday.

She added: “There is a (video) clip of His Excellency the President in [which he tells] people that ‘we have told you all that we have to tell you, we have educated you on how to protect yourselves and you still refuse to listen, you are going to see deaths rising here and when you see deaths, don’t say we didn’t tell you’.”

Put another way, the minister meant Ugandans refused to heed to a government warning and should blame themselves for dying in increasing numbers due to Covid-19.  According to Dr Monica Musenero, the presidential adviser on epidemics, many factors account for the worsening Covid situation, including laxity by the population.

“Taxis were carrying more passengers than allowed, travellers stopped wearing masks and sanitising and abandoned SOPs because they believed Covid-19 was over,” she said.

Dr Musenero said those factors plus the crowding of children in schools by having more than one class at the time escalated the situation.

“This particular spike has been driven by a number of cases in schools and institutions of learning,” she said.

However, her version is sharply disputed by Dr Kizza Besigye, a medical doctor and political leader, who through the period offered guidance to Ugandans on how to guard against Covid-19 infections.  “The situation went out of control, mainly because of the absence of a plan to manage the pandemic. A plan to manage the spread, and transmission of the disease, monitoring of how it was spread and flimsy little plans that were thrown casually were not implemented. And, so, we lost he fight against Covid-19 very early,” he argued.

He said instead of responding to the plight of the people, government was obsessed with holding general elections that were avoidable.

Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, the National Unity Platform leader had a similar sentiment. He said money meant to support vulnerable families with food during the last lockdown was swindled and the food itself couldn’t reach most people.

“This is a scandal! We had more than a year to plan and prepare for this moment. As always, Gen Museveni’s regime chose to embezzle billions borrowed or donated in the name of Covid-19. For now, I encourage you all to realise we’re absolutely on our own and take precautions to avoid getting infected,” he added. 

home05pix2

 

President Museveni of Uganda has locked down the country of Uganda again for 42 days so that he can use force and expensive penalties to stop the spread of COVID:

He has stopped all the medical efforts to fast truck the pandemic vaccination of the citizens in the hope that the military police and army can phsically manage the public to stop the spread of COVID19:

 

 

By the World Media

 

President Yoweri Museveni has revised Uganda's coronavirus standard operating procedures placing the country into a 42-day lockdown. 

All public and transport movement has been banned except when taking patients or for movement of essential workers. Essential workers include security, utility workers such as banking, mass media, retail shops. Museveni also readjusted the curfew time from 9.00 pm-5.30 am to 7.00 pm to 5.30 am. Museveni says the new measures are necessary given the spike in coronavirus cases and deaths across the country.

Below is the president's full speech

Dear Countrymen and Women,

Since my last two updates, the country has seen a more aggressive and sustained growth of the COVID-19 pandemic as opposed to the earlier months of April and May 2021.

Over the past 3 weeks, the daily number of people testing positive for Corona has increased from less than 100 to now over 1,700. This represents a 17 fold increase in daily cases.

As a result our epidemic curve is now on steep rise with increased reports of deaths nationwide

In addition,


o The proportion of people testing positive fromsamples tested (Positivity Rate) has remained as high as 17%. Yet for us to control the disease effectively this number has to be less than 5%.

There is also what scientists call doubling time. This is the time it takes for the number of cases detected to double. The shorter this time is, the more intense the virus is spreading in the community. This time has dropped from 68 to 31 days in just one week.

This means that if no major shift in the response is done, the pandemic intensity will double in one month;

o We are experiencing very high hospitalization rates and deaths for COVID-19 patients among all age categories.
o Cases have now expanded to cover most of the country. When I addressed you three weeks ago, only 61 districts had significant spread of the virus, as of 16th June 108 districts as shown in this map below.

Given the nature of this virus, the moment you detect one case, then it is a matter of time until the infections expand and the number increases.

We have noted a number of danger signals in the trend of the pandemic. These help to alert us to how we are doing. Some of these include;

Table Summary of Key indicators of Covid-19 in the country

The rapid surge in the intensity of the pandemic appears unprecedented, but still manageable using the similar measures we have used since last year at the beginning of the pandemic and in all our previous revolutionary endeavors in the past more than 50 years.

This situation was anticipated by Government, and hence manageable because we have the correct diagnosis, and the means to tackle it.

To date, the country has registered a total of 68,778 COVID-19 cases; where 973 patients (Severe 894, Critical 79) currently on active admission at both private and public treatment facilities across the country, and 42 deaths reported today.

This brings the reported total deaths to 542. These are reported and confirmed deaths by PCR testing, but there may be more deaths diagnosed by other means. However, we are cognizant that both the number of COVID- 19 cases and deaths may be higher than this, and the Minister of Health will accordingly explain and update the nation on this.

However, apart from individuals fall sick or die in the community or health facilities without being tested, scientists have also brought to my notice situations when Covid-19 patients may falsely test negative.

For example, the individual may have taken the test and the virus is no longer in the nose or throat, but the virus is in other parts of the body or it has already started the “body panic crisis” which in some cases may lead to death. Some of these deaths may not be immediately classified as Covid-19 until further investigation is done. In the longer run, most Covid-19 related illness and deaths will be well documented.

But as noted above, despite the rapid escalation of the outbreak, the hospitalization rates have remained low, and dropping (from 12 to 8% over the past weeks as in the table above).

This signals intense that the health system is beginning to get stained, we must do everything to protect the integrity of the health system. Since my address 3 weeks ago, the severely and critically ill COVID-19 patients have more than doubled straining the available oxygen supply. An average non-COVID-19 critical patient consumes one-to-two oxygen cylinders per day, however, a severely ill COVID-19 needs four to six cylinders per day.

The current national daily oxygen consumption stands at 3,000 cylinders per day, where each cylinder is 6,800 liters. With the estimated COVID- 19 patient increase in the coming weeks, the daily oxygen consumption will rise to 25,800 cylinders per day in one month, unless we change the course. This is nearly a 9 -fold increase in the overall national oxygen requirement.

The current overall national oxygen production (oxygen plants linked to our national and regional referral hospitals), including the private sector is 3,005 cylinders against daily consumption that stands at 3,000 cylinders. The current oxygen challenge we are facing is the availability of empty cylinders for distribution.

Of course if cases keep expanding, it can also outstrip our production capacity. As I indicated in my last update, the current hospital beds to manage COVID-19 patients stand at 3,793 as summarized below.


As noted above, unless we urgently intervene to reverse this, the estimates and observations by scientists show that the current number of people needing care will double in less than one month, outstripping our bed capacity.

As a result of all the above, my strategic interventions to maintain the fine balance of pandemic control will hinge on preventive health and urgent care for the severely ill. This will be tackled in two ways.

(a) Urgent interruption (or minimization) of community transmission to cushion the health system, sustain our people’s economic lives and save lives using previously used containment measures. Government will aim at reducing the speed and the intensity of transmission to within the next 42 days so that number of new cases is less than the available bed and oxygen capacity in the country.

(b) Ramping up oxygen supply to all COVID-19 treatment health facilities and optimize the available care capacity so that it can adequately handle current and new cases over the next 42 days.

I must commend Ugandans; over the last 12 days many have heeded my directives and the Ministry of Health SOPs. My mobilisers in and around Kampala inform me they are staying in their houses more and more. They inform me they’re sanitizing more than before.

I have also observed marked reduction in congestion around Kampala and more use of masks, meaning people are increasingly adhering to the SOPs. I thank you and commend you more for this patriotism. Despite this positive trend, we need to do more to preserve and protect our health system and hence our lives.

To achieve the above two strategic objectives and augmenting my observations above, starting at 2200HRS today 18th June 2021, I am revising and updating ALL the directives I issued on the 6th June 2021.

The revision is as follows:

1. Public and private transport: It has been observed that Taxis/ Boda-Bodas drop passengers at district boundaries (relay system) to be taken over by their colleagues waiting across the boundary districts which may result in further spread of the virus in communities.

Additionally, it has also been observed that despite this directive, human beings walk across district boundaries. This therefore has not achieved its intended purpose.

Furthermore, the movement of individuals fuels virus transmission, and without limiting the movement of persons which leads to mixing and re-remixing of individuals in the different categories of infected and non-infected. This needs to be stopped since and is the cornerstone of the current exponential transmission drive.

Directives:

(a) Across the country, the Resident District Commissioners working with the Chief Administrative Officers and their District Health Officers are directed to make all the necessary arrangements to ensure all individuals that require medical care and medical evacuation in their respective districts, COVID-19 or otherwise are taken care of.

(b) Only registered tourists’ vehicles will be allowed to move. These should move directly to their destinations and designated places.

(c) Emergency vehicles, police and army vehicles, and essential workers vehicles will be allowed to move.

(d) I have defined the ESSENTIAL SECTORS and where there is need for additional clarity, The Rt Hon Prime Minister will study such and communicate accordingly.

(e) Among the Essential Health workers include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, veterinary doctors, and other essential health staff. Details of other essential sectors will be worked out by the Rt. Honorable Prime Minister and her team. The essential workers will be given specific identifications

2. Curfew:

It is observed that some sections of the public are not adhering to the curfew hours (2100 Hrs to 0530 Hrs).

Directive:
(a) As such, the curfew time throughout the country is pulled back to 1900Hrs to 0530 Hrs. All human beings except security and those authorized to move should be their homes.

(b) Boda-Bodas will only be allowed to move only up to 1700Hrs.

3. Educational Institutions:
Observation: Testimonies from credible sources indicate that schools had been deliberately silent about infections among students due to fear of closure.
Directives:

(i) All schools and institutions of learning remain closed for 42 days
(ii) The Ministry of Health to reactivate Village Health Teams (VHTs) under the Community Engagement Strategy (CES) to strengthen sensitization of the communities.
(iii) The Ministry of Local Government is hereby directed to support the Regional Task Forces (RTFs) and District Task Forces (DTFs) to be reactivated and supported to enforce compliance of all SOPs.

(iv) The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is directed to support the Regional Task Forces (RTFs) and District Task Forces (DTFs) should be reactivated and supported to enforce compliance of the existing SOPs.

4. International and Cross-Border Travels:
Entebbe International Airport will remain open, but we shall ensure the no virus, or new variants enter Uganda. Uganda’s land locked country. All cargo movements, to and out of Uganda will be allowed without any disruption.

Directives

(a) Cargotruckdriversatland-bordercrossings will be tested allowed to move and be followed up at the designated Seclusion Areas and holding places for Cargo trucks.

(b) The Ministry of Works and Transport is hereby directed to reactivate the operations of Seclusion Areas for Cargo trucks.

(c) The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) to monitor compliance of particularly the private cars allowed to cross the borders to ensure total observance of the SoPs and guidelines.

(d) Non-cargo cross-border movement, except for licensed tourist vehicles is hereby suspended for the next 42 days.

5. Non-agricultural activities and markets:
Efforts have been made to bring on board different actors including Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Ministry of Works and Transport (MoW&T) among others. However, the surge of crowds has not sufficiently subsided despite the effort to enforce social distancing and the use face masks. This might not take away the danger of spreading COVID-19 as envisaged.

Directives:

(a) Food Market Venders should revert to the Presidential Directive of March 2020 to stay in their places of work.

(b) Kikuubo and other Business Centres should be closed, and the situation reverts to the Presidential Directive of March 2020.

6. Burials: Whereas the compliance on this has been low, the high-risk factor assessed is the pressure of people seeking permission to go and attend burials from place to place. This poses the highest danger of spreading the virus and breaches of the strategy.

Directive:
(i) Burials to be restricted to the core family as applied in the military.
(ii) TheCommitteeIputinplaceduringmylast address – led by Major General Rusoke and Dr. Musenero should ensure the institution of a well-coordinated mechanism which enables a few family members to transport dead bodied for burial. RDC and DPC should ensure that all SOPs are observed and not more than 20 people attend burial. And avoid gatherings and visits to the deceased family after burials which will promote spread of the virus.

7. Bars, Discos, Sports Betting, and Cinema Halls: Despite the directive, the bar owners and clients have not fully adhered.

Directive:
(a) KCCA, URA and Local Government authorities are directed to close and seal off all the bars. Police should accordingly arrest and charge with hefty fines imposed for reopening.

(b) It serves no purpose arresting the revelers while allowing the owners to reopen the following morning.

8. All other sectors which are not specifically mentioned should consider themselves closed for the next 42 days.

9. Institutions and Organizations: Although most offices have complied with the 30% physical presence at the workplace, the directive ought to be reviewed. Current information so far obtained indicates that despite this scale down, infection rates in this area are very high. I have thus revised this.

Directive:

(a) Further reduction to 10% in Non-core Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

(b) The Rt Hon Prime Minister working with the Ministry of Public Service and the Ministry of Health will re-define the Non-Core MDA

10. Factories and construction sites: Whereas this directive is being adhered to, it remains tricky because in some areas, workers have to cross different districts to reach their places of aboard. Therefore, a well-intended plan could yield less because of circumstances.

Directive:
Where possible, the workers MUST be housed at places of work for the next 42 days. I encourage factory owners to work with the Ministry of Health to ensure only uninfected workers enter the camps.

Where camping is not possible, the factory owners should work together with the Technical Committee to agree on a safe alternative to enable factory activities to continue safely during the lock down period.

11. Places of worship: The churches, mosques, and sports sessions are congregating settings and are a source that fuels rapid virus transmission.

Directive:

All places of worship and sports events remain suspended for 42 days

12. The Monitoring of the compliance and adherence to these directives:

The Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), working together with the Technical Intersectoral Committee under Maj Gen Robert Rusoke are directed to closely monitor the compliance and enforcement of these directives.

Except where specifically stated, all these measures take IMMEDIATE effect and will last 42 days when I will make subsequent revision.

For our lives to continue, the following sectors fully function: (a) agriculture, (b) industry, manufacturing and tourism, (c) health and medical services, (d) security (police and army), (e) utilities (water, electricity, mass media, telecoms, banking institutions, garbage/waste management, retail shops and markets), (f) cargo transport and goods distribution. I have thus categorized these sectors as essential sectors.

At this critical moment, I wish to call upon all the leadership structures throughout the country. Every village has community health workers known as Village health teams (VHTs) who are in touch with families and keep records on the health status of the villages.

For example they know how many people are in the village, how many are pregnant, how many children etc. These VHTs should now be leveraged to increase population awareness, support for SOPs and affected households.

The district based governance structures are all in place with salaried staff and should take charge of the situation and support awareness creation and enforcement.

The Ministry of Local Government has undertaken mobilization of these leaders and they are fully aware of their roles in the COVID-19 response. All district Covid -19 Task forces are hereby called upon to awaken the national wide response system up to the community level.

Update of vaccination:

The above measures will give us a temporally relief, however, we know that the ultimate solution to this Covid-19 challenge is to get our people vaccinated. To date, we have vaccinated a total of 869, 915 people, which accounts for 90.2% of the 964,000 doses received. Of these 57,797 (6.6%) have received both 1st and second dose.

Yesterday, 17th June 2021, we received another 175,200 doses and we are expecting additional 688,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in early August. I have directed that these doses be prioritized to give second dose to those who have got already got their first dose.

Government is working with Chinese embassy to bring in 300,000 doses of vaccines (Sinovac) and discussing modalities of acquisition of more doses through direct purchase.

We are also in discussions with African Union on terms of acquisition of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The government will continue to explore all ways of fast tracking the acquisition of enough vaccines to vaccinate a critical mass of our population to ensure the country returns to normal operations.

Conclusion

Finally, to all of you Countrymen and Women, these are urgent and temporary, but extra-ordinary measures, which we as the Nation must jointly and fully embrace to protect and preserve our lives, our ways of life, the way we live, and our future.

It is only through these measures that we shall in a long run protect our economy, preserve our democracy and sustain the NRM revolution.
Thank you.

Nb

This is a second lockdown in Uganda that is unnecessary. Public service volunteers and the medical staff should have been trained fast enough to start vaccinations on the elderly and those at medium age in urban regions, beginning when the country started receiving the international vaccination! And again during the 42 days of this lockdown, the vaccination program seems to have come to a standstill. There are no logistics to be moved and to be used at all. It is under lock and key!

 

Training more military personnel and police to police this lockdown in the urban and rural areas of Uganda is not good value for money. Is this government suggesting that after 42 days the virus will have gone so that the two phase vaccination can then go ahead without any more bothering with infections? Surely vaccination in medical terms is all about prevention than treatment. One could use the logic that vaccination is one of the many aspects of SOP against this killer disease, and to have stopped it is being irresponsible indeed. It is playing about with the peoples' lives when COVID19 vaccination is delayed or let alone stopped, and yet the whole world wants to see that the whole world population is vaccinated as soon as possible!

 

 

 

 

 

In Uganda, General Katumba Wamala of the Uganda Army has been shot at in Kisaasi and two passengers have died:

1st June, 2021

 

By the Monitor Team

Gen Katumba Wamala and his bodyguard at the scene. Photo | Courtesy

A convoy carrying Edward Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport and a four-star general in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has been shot at in Kisaasi.

The incident happened on Tuesday morning at around 9am. According to the video footage that has been circulating on social media, Gen Katumba is seen walking but his clothes are stained in blood.

 

The vehicle which Gen Katumba has been traveling in. Photo | Stephen Otage

 

He was rushed to Malcom Clinic from where he was taken to Medipal Hospital in Kampala for further medical attention.

Reports coming in indicate that Gen Katumba's daughter, Brenda Wamala Nantongo and his driver, Haruna Kayondo, have since passed on. 

 

The General frankly speaks out in the hospital

 

Gen Katumba and his daughter were reportedly heading for the burial of their close relative in Najjanankumbi along Entebbe road.

Moments before the incident happened, Gen Katumba tweeted:

Gen Katumba has been serving as Minister of Works and Transport in the Ugandan cabinet, since 14 December 2019.

READ: 

Gen Katumba Wamala: Tourism enthusiast, US hall of famer

 

He previously served as the Chief of Defence Forces of Uganda, the highest military rank in the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF), from 2013 until 2017.

 

 

Gen Katumba Wamala and his dead daughter Brenda during the recent swearing-in ceremony at Parliament. Gen Katumba is the army representative in the 11th Parliament. Photo | Alex Esagala

 

He was the commander of land forces in the UPDF from 2005 to 2013. He also served as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Uganda Police Force (UPF), the highest rank in that branch of Uganda's government, from 2001 until 2005. 

Wamala was the first active UPDF soldier to serve as the head of the UPF.

Nb

The other political side of it all:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the cattle corridor of Kiruhura district in Uganda, the veterinary department has banned livestock movement:

There is an animal viral epidemic of  Foot and Mouth Disease spreading all over the District:

 

 

Written by URN

 

Kiruhura district has announced a total ban on the sale and movement of livestock in a bid to contain the spread of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). Cattle sales and the byproducts, in the district is at standby. 

 

In a letter addressed to the sub-county chairpersons, town clerks and extension workers, Charles Kiberu, the Kiruhura district chief administrative officer says that farmers have continued to sell livestock and their products to traders who move animals at night.

Kiberu says to fill the gaps, the district task force has decided to put a total quarantine on any animal movement and animal products within and outside the district with immediate effect.

Abel Rutemba, a farmer in Kiruhura welcomes the total quarantine saying that it has valid reasons to minimize the spread of FMD in trying to limit the movement of milk vendors who move from home to home collecting milk.

 

Olive Komugasho, a milk vendor, says despite the increase in FMD she opposes the total ban, noting that it will affect their businesses.

Dr Grace Asiimwe, Kiruhura district veterinary officer says they managed to vaccinate about 5,000 cattle. He adds that they are waiting for more vaccines from the ministry of Agriculture.

This is the third time a total quarantine has been placed in Kiruhira district due to foot and mouth disease. Meanwhile, the Agriculture ministry has also halted the movement of animals from and within one sub-county in Sheema district.

This follows suspected FMD that has been detected in the Kyangyenyi sub county in the three farms in the parishes of Kagongi and Muzira.

FMD was first detected in the five districts of Kazo, Ibanda, Kiruhura, Mbarara City and Sheema. An infected animal presents with blisters on the mouth and foot, loss of appetite, fever and a drop in milk production.

Nb

Indeed it is a bad day for these District ranchers. A cow for meat infected with FMD is not good for human consumption!
It is not at all as safe as the Uganda Police and Army have been fighting the plague of COVID19. It is high time in Africa to put in more efforts to stop feeding the populations with such infected foods.

This is a government that is very serious at trying to keep the people of this country under very stringent controls in law and order and safe human health measures.
Well, these infected animals in Africa should be slaughtered and their carcass buried deep in the ground!

One sympathises with the ranchers' great loss, but then it is all about corruption in this country. Surely as the discoverable of the vaccination of COVID19, and its quick treatment, the FMD by now should have disappeared throughout the continent of Africa.
 
 
 
 
 

Political Protests in Uganda.

Bobi Wine has been arrested as the Uganda army takes over the city of Kampala:

 

Written by URN

 

The Uganda Army is patrolling the city streets of Kampala after arresting the Presidential candidate of the just concluded national election

 

National Unity Platform (NUP) president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has been arrested in downtown Kampala. Kyagulanyi and several members of the NUP were heading to the City Square to protest against the continued abduction, arrest and alleged killing of opposition supporters.

The army has since taken over the city security with several combat vehicles now seen patrolling the streets and sharpshooters taking positions on top of city buildings. 

Kyagulanyi recently announced that he would lead peaceful demonstrations to challenge the abduction of NUP supporters, the trial of civilians in military courts, and the outcome of the January 14 presidential election which gave President Yoweri Museveni victory against 10 other candidates. 

Kyagulanyi has since called on Ugandans to take to the streets to protest the outcome of the results, and what he calls the oppressive government of Museveni. 

“I call upon you to rise up peacefully, unarmed and demonstrate against a regime that has oppressed us," he said.

Today afternoon, Kyagulanyi accompanied by the secretary general David Lewis Rubongoya, spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi, Muhammad Ssegirinya, the MP-elect of Kawempe North, and Derick Nyeko from Makindye East, among others, marched to the city, prompting a fleet of boda-boda riders following them.

However, these were intercepted around the Mabirizi complex by anti-riot police and field force unit personnel and taken to the Central police station (CPS).

During the scuffle, the police fired teargas and bullets to disperse the gathering crowds. Police spokesperson Fred Enanga says that Kyagulanyi has been arrested with nine other people. Kyagulanyi since been driven back to his home in Magere and the others released without charge.

Nb

Unfortunately for this country, the Uganda Peoples' Defense forces are becoming the people's affliction! What is this army doing on the streets of Kampala when it should be trying to help out the recounting of the votes in an obvious rigged national election! Have they taken sides already when they must not do so?

 

 

 

 

 

In Uganda, the Police traffic officer who allegedly leaked Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo’s photos leaving state house, has been arrested:

20 February, 2021

 

By World Media

 

 

Police in Kampala has arrested John Endyango a police officer attached to the CCTV office in Entebbe has been arrested for allegedly leaking videos and photos of a secret meeting between the heads of the Judiciary and President Museveni.

The Principal Judge, Deputy Chief Justice and the Chief Justice a few days ago met President Museveni at State House Entebbe.

Well as details of the meeting have not been divulged, Endyango is said to have released a video of the top judicial officers vehicles leaving state house, many Ugandans concluding that they were compromised by the head of state.

Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo is among thee nine Justices of the Supreme Court hearing the Kyagulanyi Presidential Petition.

Sources at Entebbe Police confirmed Endyango’s arrest. “He was picked by officers from Kampala and we didn’t receive details on why he was taken,” a highly placed source at Entebbe Police Station said.

Another source in the Special Forces told this website that the officer must account for leaking information that compromises National Security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Uganda Electoral Commissioner gave President Museveni 0 at some polling stations where he scored a bit less than his opponents:

5th February, 2021

Written by URN

 

President Museveni is addressing voters upcountry at a distance for fear of COVID19 plague.

 

The recently published presidential election results released by the Electoral Commission seem to wrongly show that President Yoweri Museveni scored zero at two polling stations in Tororo district. 

The stations include St. Kizito Primary School (N-Z) situated in Amagoro B Ward Tororo municipality and Nyambulie situated in Senda Parish, West Budama North East constituency.   

According to interviews conducted with more than a dozen people from the two villages, Museveni did not score zero in the area: he scored 100 votes at St. Kizito Primary School (N-Z) and 152 votes at Nyambulie, giving him a total of 252 votes. 

Majority of the votes at the two polling stations went to the National Unity Platform (NUP) candidate Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi.  

Shaban Muganja, the LC I and NRM chairman of the village where St. Kizito primary school is located Muganja says that although Kyagulanyi defeated Museveni at this polling station, the elderly in the area voted for Museveni, and there is no polling station in Tororo where Museveni “performed badly to the extent of getting zero.”    

“That is rigging,” he says. “That is very bad and it’s a crime.” He said the declaration signed by agents of all presidential candidates are clear, showing that Kyagulanyi defeated Museveni with a difference of just eight votes. According to Muganja Museveni polled 100 votes against Kyagulanyi's 108 votes. 

Clement Othieno, a resident who claims to have voted for Museveni at St Kizito primary school polling station the election was rigged if the Electoral Commission says the president got zero at that polling station. Cissy Namutebi, another resident who also voted for Museveni says she feels “bad when they say Mzee Museveni got zero” at this polling station.    

A presiding officer of St Kizito primary school polling station, Davis Okach says Museveni got 100 votes but slightly contradicts what others say was Kyagulanyi’s score. While he says Kyagulanyi scored 109 votes, the other people that we interviewed say he got 108 votes.

“If the Election Commission tally sheet read that the president got zero, he says it could be “an error.” Kyagulanyi’s votes; 108 are accurately captured in Electoral Commission tally sheets. Okach claims that on the polling day, he realized that he had been given junior polling assistants who didn’t know anything. He says he ended up doing most of the work himself at the polling station.    

Shocked by Museveni’s scores, when the URN reporter visited Nyambulie village where the second polling station is located, the LC I vice-chairperson Ochieng Oculu, who was having lunch, jumped off the table in shock. “I personally voted him,” he said.   

Kyagulanyi’s agent at Nyambulie, Achieng Justine said she was at the polling station when counting of votes ended and she recorded “Kyagulanyi scoring 183 votes and Museveni getting 152 votes.”

Kyagulanyi’s votes—183—are accurately captured in EC result sheets. Opio Joshua, a polling assistant at Nyabulie polling station also said Kyagulanyi emerged the victor at this particular polling station with 183 votes while Museveni got 152 votes. Joshua argued that anything that shows Museveni with zero scores is not the “true outcome of our polling station.”    

Museveni has in the past complained that NRM is sometimes rigged. But he has never explained at what election level is NRM rigged and the extent of rigging or availed evidence.  

The fact that the president’s votes at a polling station aren’t reflected in the tally sheet and NRM which usually has eyes at every polling station and tally centre failed to detect the anomaly, it is telling that the party’s vote protection team—unveiled weeks before the election—failed to protect Museveni’s votes at all polling stations across the country. 

“I am not informed about that, I would have let you know,” Phibby Otaala, the NRM Tororo vice chairperson said when asked if the president scored zero at any polling station in the district.  

When given names of these polling stations, Otaala said, “I think that is total madness. How do you expect him (Museveni) not to get anything at St. Kizito when that is his stronghold?  That one cannot be true. Those are fabrications.”    

And when asked why the NRM leadership in Tororo failed to protect the president’s votes, she evaded the question, arguing that it’s the duty of the Electoral Commission returning officer to announce the truth.

“If you have evidence that the president got 100 votes and they gave him zero, I think that Electoral Commission presiding officer and all those who were responsible should be reprimanded.”   

Otaala questioned; “how do you bring in the NRM leadership of Tororo to go to the tally centre, or polling station and tell the presiding officer to enter true results. Is it how it should be?”    

She said this is a “big story” because no single radio station in Tororo has broadcasted such news. Otaala hastened to advise our reporters to leave “Tororo out of confusion.” This kind of confusion, she claimed, has been happening only in Buganda.

Electoral Commission spokesperson, Paul Bukenya said he needed time to crosscheck documents from the area before commenting on the matter. All staff who could help with verification, he said were busy organizing Wednesday election. He promised a response on Thursday. 

Election rigging is one of the grounds that Kyagulanyi has petitioned the Supreme court to overturn Museveni's election victory. There are more ‘strange’ results registered in the released EC results. For example at Maganjo B C/U (NANO-NZ) polling station with 944, John Karumba garnered 333 votes against Kyagulanyi’s 0 votes and Museveni’s 61 votes.

At Maya P/Sch (Negambidda), again Katumba scored the most votes, 283 against Kyagulanyi’s 0 votes and Museveni’s 87 votes. Further at Nakifuma East (Nan-Z) polling station, Katumba garnered 258 votes against Museveni’s 51 and Kyagulanyi’s 0 votes. 

Nb

Indeed that is why lining up behind the selected choice of the candidates is the best alternative to a secret ballot. But then imagine in Somalia where guns and bombs are near by the polling centers. That is why Africa is still very immature with Democracy. Where a vote will cost half a dollar, ballot stuffing is a normal practice, and military AK47 and police whips finally decide national democratic elections.

 

The international community seems all fed up with the political immaturity of Somalia and South Sudan on the continent of Africa. Most probably the African leadership in these conflict ridden countries fear a non rigged national secret ballot that can tell them to leave the innocent citizens of these countries alone and for them to go home and retire from running state business anymore!

 

 

 

 

 

The opposition in Uganda continue to beg the courts to stop President Museveni to participate in future elections because he is always cheating in such national elections:

2 February, 2021

Written by URN

 

The legal documents of the petition against President Museveni's election victory of 14 January, 2021

 

The National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has petitioned the Supreme court seeking for the annulment of the election victory of National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni.

Kyagulanyi filed the petition today Monday through five law firms led by Lukwago and Company Advocates. The other firms are Pace and Company Advocates, Sewakambo and Company Advocates, Wameli and Company Advocates and Kiwanuka, Kanyango and Company Advocates. The respondents in the petition which will be determined in 60 days include Museveni, the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General. 

Kyagulanyi is challenging the election results of the January 14 polls in which EC chairperson Simon Byamukama Mugenyi announced Museveni as the winner with 58 per of the total votes followed by Kyagulanyi with 35 per cent. The presidential race attracted 11 candidates with Museveni polling 5,851,037 votes against Kyagulanyi’s 3,475,298 votes. 

On January 28, Byabakama released the final tally of the results showing that Museveni garnered an extra 191,861 votes - pushing his final tally to 6,042,898 votes while Kyagulanyi got an extra 156,139 votes pushing his final tally to 3,631,437 votes. 

But Kyagulanyi disputes the results and argues in his petition that the election was invalid on grounds that it was not conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the laws governing elections such as the constitution, the Presidential Elections Act and the Electoral Commission Act.

As such, Kyagulanyi argues that the non-compliance with the said laws affected the final outcome of the results. For instance, he says in his affidavit that on several occasions and in several parts of the country, the army and police prevented him from carrying out nationwide consultations in preparation for his nomination as a presidential candidate.

Due to the security actions, Kyagulanyi alleges that he was frustrated in the entire election process because his agents were arrested, some murdered while others were abducted. He contends that he was personally pepper-sprayed, intimidated and also that security destroyed his campaign posters before causing violence. 

 

President Museveni in a reading mode:

 

Evidence before the court also shows Kyagulanyi accusing the EC of having arbitrarily and unlawfully issued campaign guidelines which hindered a free and fair campaign to his disadvantage and only enforced the said guidelines selectively to favour the incumbent Museveni.

Kyagulanyi also accuses Museveni whom he describes as a master of violence of committing acts of bribery by providing or causing the provision of money and other gifts to voters with the intent to cause them to vote him (Museveni) or refrain from voting him (Kyagulanyi).

Kyagulanyi asks court to permanently ban Museveni from future elections due to perpetually engaging in election malpractices.

At least 4 of the last 5 presidential elections have ended up in court with the judges admitting election fraud but claiming it was not enough to overturn the final tally. 

For the Attorney General, Kyagulanyi faults him for having allegedly refused to amend the relevant laws which would ensure a free and fair election as directed by the Supreme court in their orders arising from the previous presidential election petition.  

The Supreme court in 2016 following yet another presidential election petition of Amama Mbabazi against Museveni, issued ten key 'commands' to be considered so as to have free and fair elections in future.  

These included amending the time for filing and determining petitions, amending the laws regarding the nature of evidence to be used, the time for holding fresh elections, donations during the election period and involvement of public officers in political campaigns among others.

 

How can this sort of savage beatings of civilians win this African leader a sixth term in the office of the Presidency?

 

The Attorney General has since complied with a few of them and failed on the majority. Now, Kyagulanyi wants the Supreme court to order for fresh elections and issue a permanent order restraining the army and intelligence services as well as resident district commissioners (RDCs) from involving themselves and interfering with the electoral processes in future.

Kyagulanyi also wants the Attorney General to be directed again to cause amendments to the relevant electoral laws to comply with the observations and directions of the Supreme court in the previous presidential election petitions to enable internationally recognized principles of free and fair elections. 

 

 The struggles of the lawyers against President Museveni getting another term of President of Uganda

 

 

 

 

 

Political parties in Uganda are begging the judiciary to deliver justice independently:

Museveni's  election victory in Uganda, under the pandemic of COVID19 world wide, has not gone well at all:

2nd February, 2021

Written by URN

Winnie Kiiza addressing the media

 

The opposition Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party is positive that the Supreme court will overturn the January 14 election victory of President Yoweri following a petition filed by the National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine. 

Yesterday Monday, Kyagulanyi in his petition sought for the annulment of the presidential election in which Museveni was declared the winner by the Electoral Commission on grounds that the election was marred by several electoral irregularities. 

Now, ANT national coordinator Winnie Kiiza says that they still trust the court to hear the merits of Kyagulanyi's case to either annul the election or declare Kyagulanyi as the rightfully elected president.

She, together with other ANT party leaders addressed journalists at their offices along Buganda Road in Kampala where they expressed support for any legal means taken by friendly opposition forces in challenging the 2021 general election. Article 104 of the Constitution allows a presidential candidate up to 15 days after the declaration of results to file a petition in the Supreme court. 

Kiiza says that her party is bound by documents they signed as opposition political parties to work together during and after the election to secure victory and that they are they in support of the election petition by NUP contesting the presidential election results. She notes that they believe that court will hear the merits of the case, act independently and deliver justice.

"For us, we’re looking at any avenue that can help us to continue fighting, and this is a legal way. One way to remove a dictator is through an election. If he [Museveni] has failed us through an election, we shall go to court. It is the constitutional way of getting what I think has been grabbed from us. We don’t want to hold arms yet though it is also another option. We’re not yet there but in the meantime, the judges should also be kind to Ugandans and listen to this case and grant it the merit that it deserves. They are also Ugandans, they stay in Uganda, they see what is happening. Let them not be judges of an individual and for us, we still believe that they are independent. That is what we want to believe that they are independent that is why we still want to run there. So we can only say they are not independent after they have made themselves look so," said Kiiza. 

Wilberforce Seryazi, the ANT spokesperson expressed dissatisfaction with the general conduct, management and voting process.

“We have received complaints where individuals were assisted by security agencies to carry out ballot stuffing. This certainly cannot be an election conducted according to the electoral laws of Uganda. We, therefore, condemn and reject the outcome of this election,” said Seryazi.

He also noted that during the campaign period, there was great interference from security operatives on the campaign programs of the opposition presidential candidates and that these participated in the cancellation of their radio programs and giving the party venues at the periphery of towns.

MP Gerald Karuhanga, one of the ANT candidates who lost his seat in Ntungamo Municipality said that the electoral process was marred with voter bribery and dominated by the army which he alleged to have taken over polling stations and ensured voting was in favour of the incumbent president.

Meanwhile, the party has demanded that government ceases harassment, ‘preventive arrests’ of opposition members in the country and demanded the immediate release of all people who were arbitrarily arrested during the electoral process.

‘We demand that the government disciplines and prosecutes all erratic security officials who killed, injured, harassed, tormented citizens of this country and we demand that Ugandans who were killed, persecuted, injured be expeditiously compensated,” said Seryazi.

 

Nb

One is of the understanding that as international democratic gentlemen and gentleladies of African descent, the democratic election participates who are found gerrymandering in elections several times, are banned and fined.

If in this particular country one is found out rigging, stealing and promoting violence in a people's national election, how come they are encouraged to continue to participate in these elections? Does it mean that afterwards they will behave nicely?
 

Politicians of Uganda, stop wasting the citizens' time. The people's representative house for now years has been looking the other way as election transgression has been going on.

Presidential term limits and old age years limit have all been changed to award candidates who enjoy these sorts of elections. How come you trust the NRM cadre judges, this time to change their judgement on this sort of behavior?