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By Mulengera Reporters

 Sarah Opendi is the Minister of State in charge of Mineral Development and Amber House, the headquarters of the Ministry, is her place of work. But her entry into the Building this week’s Wednesday caused unprecedented anxiety. Why? President Museveni last Monday but one reported to Cabinet he had asked her to stay away from subsequent Cabinet meetings after getting reports that her spouse, returning from abroad, had sneaked into the country and went home straight (inevitably stayed with her) without undergoing mandatory quarantine among other MoH procedures. (See:,


Equally affected was Youth & Children Affairs Minister Nakiwala Kiyingi whose spouse Deo Kiyingi had just returned and went home in similar circumstances without being quarantined. Museveni told Cabinet that he had gathered all this info through his intelligence channels. It’s something the online media reported about making it possible for the broader public to become aware of this development. 

So, when Opendi turned up for work at the Ministry, staff (including her personal secretary) reacted with visible apprehension with none being comfortably willing to get anywhere near her. That same day there was a meeting that required senior members of staff to join her in the Board room for the same meeting. Inside the meeting room, staffers struggled to keep 8 meters away from her, an act some more reasonable ones considered to be unnecessary stigma. The meeting nevertheless carried on but insiders say staffers were clearly very frightened and unwilling to come near the Minister.

As soon as the meeting ended, staffers insisted that the PS Robert Kasande permits them to fumigate the Boardroom, a procedure that was effected using the Saraya sanitizer bottles and employees insisted 10 liters had to be expended onto the room where the meeting had taken place. They went as far as sarcastically advising the secretary to go and have herself fumigated on top of ensuring she bathes herself in several bottles of the sanitizer to ensure adequate disinfection in case there was any exposure. The poor secretary has since continued to live with this extreme stigma with some workmates advising her to ask for transfer, something she has prudently declined to do saying such are the expected occupational hazards associated to the job. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at



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