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Dogs did not Exhume Namisindwa COVID-19 Body – Dr Aceng



The Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has refuted claims that dogs exhumed the body of a COVID-19 victim in Namisindwa district.

The claim, which was raised as a matter of national importance by Namisindwa district woman MP Grace Namukhula Watuwa at the floor Parliament this week, made the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga order the reburying of the deceased.

“The body was buried poorly and dogs have opened up the grave, so the odor is everywhere,” Watuwa said.

Updating the nation about COVID-19 on Thursday, the Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng refuted the claim.

“The deceased in Namisindwa was well buried except that the terrain there is a bit difficult and when there were heavy rains, there was a bit of exposure but it is not true that dogs had descended on that body. It is not true,” Aceng said.

The 34 year old female who died on Tuesday July 21,2020, was confirmed to have died of COVID-19 by Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director General Health Services in the Ministry of Health on Thursday July 23, 2020.

Similarly, the Ministry of Health also answered why Uganda’s second COVID-19 death was buried by the family and not health experts as was supposed to be.

Lt Col Dr Henry Kyobe, the COVID-19 incident commander said that before the family was notified that the deceased died of COVID-19, she was already buried.

“The hospital identified that this a suspected case, took off a sample but before the notification came, they allowed the family to take over the burial. So, it was observance and the timing. So, the notification came later when the family had undertaken the burial,” said Kyobe.

The 80 year old female resident of Mengo, Kisenyi III became the second person in Uganda to die of COVID-19 and was confirmed by the Ministry of Health on July 26, 2020.

Accrediting private hospitals to manage Covid-19.

On the issue of whether Government has any plans of accrediting private hospitals to manage COVID-19, Aceng said, “I have been seeing a statement from Rubaga hospital saying they have an isolation facility and are now ready to treat COVID-19. I want to appreciate Rubaga hospital for taking the step but again I want to remind Rubaga that procedures must be followed,” she said.

For laboratories that have been accredited to test COVID-19, Aceng said there is an accreditation committee.

“As long as they are not accredited and we have not standardized their labs, we cannot encourage people to go there. They must write to us requesting to be accredited as a centre and a lab is assessed and accredited by the committee and then we can tell the population. But it’s it stands now, we don’t know that lab,” Aceng added.

She also noted that the Health Ministry cannot recognise the hospital’s isolation facility before it is assessed by the Ministry.

“So, I want to tell Rubaga hospital to follow procedures. If we start creating isolation facilities and testing labs all over the country, without control, we run a very big risk of not controlling our activities, the cases will blow out of proportion and we will have no control over them.

I welcome Rubaga hospital to write formally to the Ministry of Health and we shall send assessment teams there to help them. As is now, they need to follow the procedure and refer the patients to the rightful places,” Aceng reiterated.

Mass testing

On the issues of mass testing, Uganda, she said, has in country capacity to test for COVID-19 which began at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and later scaled up to National Public Health Laboratory at Butabika, Tororo General Hospital, Mutukula point of entry, Adjumani Hospital and Makerere University College of Health Sciences at Mulago.

Other Laboratories, Aceng said, have been assessed and accredited and 12 are ready for operationalization.

Of these, 3 are public, 3 are private and 6 are research laboratories.

The private laboratories will charge a fee for services.

The access to test kits across the world is still a challenge and according to Aceng, the capacity of these laboratories could be limited in terms of numbers of tests.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded




The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19




Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  

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Museveni issues ultimatum to police boss




Museveni flagged off distribution of motorcycles for NRM chairpersons

President Yoweri Museveni has given Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola a chilling ultimatum: You either do your work or I will do it myself!

Museveni disclosed the ultimatum he gave to the IGP today Monday at the NRM secretariat at Plot 10 Kyadondo Road in Kampala where he was flagging off the distribution of motorcycles to parish chairpersons of the ruling National Resistance Movement party across the country. 

“I told the IGP that if the police doesn’t do their work, I will do it myself by arresting the police officers themselves,” Museveni stunned his audience as he commented on the electoral violence that marred the NRM primaries held on Friday last week. At least 4 people were killed across the country during the primaries. 

“There was violence in Bukono county [Namutumba district] where people were beaten. I got information that police has not done much work. Some (policemen) have been arrested and given police bond; there is no police bond for somebody who has attacked Ugandans!,” Museveni added. 

Museveni vowed to deal with all persons who messed up the party primaries.  In some parts of the country, there were massive regularities where candidates who had been defeated ended up being announced winners. In some places like Namutumba, Isingiro, Ntungamo, Jinja, Katakwi, among others, there was violence that led to the killing and wounding of civilians. Museveni said that they are going to make sure that all those who participated in these irregularities and violence are held to account. 

Museveni said although the violence was orchestrated by the politicians, the police personnel are to be held accountable for failing to contain it.

Last week, police spokesman Fred Enanga warned police personnel especially those guarding VIPs against being drawn into the politicians’ political wrangles, reminding them that they would face the music if they did. With the president now threatening to go and conduct the arrests of errant policemen himself, IGP Ochola is likely to move fast to avert the spectacle. 

Museveni wondered why police would shoot at unarmed people who were fighting amongst themselves: “That policeman must be arrested; even the ones who are threatening people you will go to jail for that if we get evidence,” a seemingly incensed Museveni said.

He also said that the state minister of Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana who was captured on camera attempting to shoot people over the weekend in Ntugamo after he lost the  Rushenyi primaries, will be charged with threatening violence and attempted murder. 

 “This game is finished,” Museveni said.

Rukatana has since been charged and remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district in western Uganda. Museveni called upon all those dissatisfied with the election results to write petitions to the regional panels of elders which he said are going to be constituted to hear all election complaints.

“We are going to get three respected people who are not part of the struggles, then we shall go and audit village per village and we shall discover. If you have committed forgery, the registrar or the politician who ordered,  you all shall go to jail. The game is finished; the voting is by lining and if you miss-add, you are ‘miss-add’ yourself,” Museveni said.

Museveni’s speech came shortly before that of Justine Kasule Lumumba, the secretary general of the NRM who called upon the president to reign over some senior people who with impunity were freely changing the results of the elections.

“Some of our staff were lured into changing declaration forms on the way forgetting that people who had participated at the village don’t need to write; they registered the record in their faces…Some have done things with impunity… in Butemba county Kyakwanzi district, one of the candidates who got 3,000 votes brought in soldiers, cordoned off that place and was declared a winner and off they went away,” Lumumba said. 

The ball is now in Ochola’s court to get the police to execute their duties professionally and with impartiality. In March 2017, President Museveni warned Ochola’s predecessor Kale Kayihura to clean the police force of wrong elements. As months passed with no visible sign of police officers shaping up, Museveni resorted to other security agencies who started arresting rogue senior police officers and charging them in the military court for various crimes.

Kayihura was then removed from office, arrested and jointly charged with the errant officers in the army court. To avoid similar fate, Ochola is likely to use a firmer hand on the police officers so that by the time of the February 2021 elections, there is no laxity in the force’s execution of its mandate to maintain law and order.

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