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MINISTERS RESIST ACENG’S NEW COVID-19 TESTING GUIDELINES ARGUING MULAGO ISN’T GOOD FOR THEIR VIP STATUS

By Mulengera Reporters 

Renowned for not taking chances, Gen Museveni requires that all his Ministers (or even any other person likely to meet him any time) undergo regular COVID19 testing. And for the Ministers, the standard requirement is they must undergo mandatory COVID19 testing twice a month at a designated place in a closely process supervised by Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.

This Ministers’ testing is conducted on a Wednesday at the Cabinet Secretariat near Parliament. Every Minister must observe this routine and keep their well authenticated certificates because Gen Museveni might suddenly require to have audience with any of them-at short notice.

But this week on Tuesday, Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, who has been coordinating the regular testing for the Ministers at Cabinet Secretariat, posted a message on the whatsapp forum called “Cabinet of Uganda.” It’s where all the Ministers have all their jazz including the Cabinet rumors of who is seeing who. Those things and much more.

In her message, Aceng announced the mandatory COVID19 tests couldn’t be done at the Cabinet Library anymore. Ministers must now drive to Mulago Hospital Private wing (which she referenced upon too as Platinum). Aceng didn’t give reasons and the Ministers immediately responded by vigorously protesting with Mwesigwa Rukutana, who was the first to comment, likening it to “attempted murder.” He elaborated that Mulago was extremely unsuitable for very important people like the Ministers because it’s a crowded place that is prone to plenty of traffic jams yet, being busy people, Ministers don’t have that much time to waste in jam.

Chris Baryomunsi, Aceng’s former boss at the Health Ministry, was next and was unusually very belligerent in his response. Baryomunsi, who is also the Kinkizi East MP, demanded to know what had happened to the GoU to the extent that a place important as the Cabinet Secretariat, can’t

be provided with basic things like sanitizers, gloves and other SoPs-enabling supplies. He rebuked Aceng while calling on her to style up and learn to treat fellow Ministers more courteously.

In her subsequent post, Aceng justified her decision by claiming that once they go to Mulago, many fellow Ministers are going to be surprised on realizing Mulago is these days a more efficient and glittering place than what they knew.

Her explanation didn’t cajole many as Beatrice Anywar was the next one to comment and the outgoing Kitgum Municipality MP equally didn’t see sense in Ministers being required to do their mandatory COVID19 tests in Mulago. Not one to back off that easily, Aceng clarified this was not negotiable and the Ministers had up to Wednesday 4pm to have their samples taken and tested as it would take another 2 weeks before the centralized offer becomes available once again.

Commenting on the same subject, Gen Katumba Wamala made things even more complicated by inquiring what Aceng (he called her Jane) was doing about countering wild media reports implying that the AstraZeneca vaccine (close to 1m doses of which Uganda imported) was unsafe. He asserted there was need for the GoU, through Aceng’s MoH, to move faster and keep ahead of such conspiracy theorists who are taking advantage of social media to create widespread phobia towards the COVID19 vaccination campaign.

Gen Katumba, who is a potential next Vice President, also demanded to know what Anywar was doing about protecting a certain forest against encroachment by human activity in her native Acholi-land. Anywar lamented she was being let down by police and other enforcement agencies who are reluctant to act.

Mulengera News understands that some Ministers are mob scared that Gen Museveni might require all of them to undergo mandatory COVID19 vaccination (publicly) as a way of reassuring the public about the vaccine’s efficacy in order to array public fears similar to those Gen Katumba Wamala was expressing on the Cabinet whatsapp forum as he implored Aceng to have a robust mechanism to effectively respond and rebut claims that the AstraZeneca vaccine is unsafe. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com).

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