Opposition Members of Parliament have scoffed at Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja for banning the distribution of relief food by politicians during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
Early this week, Nabbanja stated that politicians were causing people to converge as they scramble for food, which exposes them to risks of contracting COVID-19. She guided that the politicians either send out money to people’s mobile phone accounts or give the food to established COVID-19 task-forces at their respective districts, to allow for proper distribution to the needy.
But opposition legislators from the Masaka region have described the approach as improper, arguing that in the absence of a comprehensive support plan by the government has left them with no alternative but to directly offer the support they can.
Bukomansimbi Woman MP Veronica Nanyondo says that because the government left out rural communities on its list of vulnerable groups that needed support, many people continue to genuinely plead with leaders for food relief. She argues that district COVID-19 task-forces are also stuck with no resources to coordinate surveillance activities.
Masaka City MP Juliet Kakande equally argues that they are mindful of the realities of COVID-19 and that they have always emphasized the aspects of prevention and observing of Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs whenever they engage the people. She says that their communities are starving after waiting for government support in vain.
Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament and MP for Nyendo-Mukungwe division argues that in the absence of a proper plan for reaching out to all vulnerable groups, the government should encourage people to support each other than putting in place unnecessary limitations.
According to Mpuuga Ugandans know the dangers of COVID-19 and prevention approaches, adding that it is proper that they are allowed to support those in need in total observance of widely acceptable SOPs. The politicians also encouraged people to continue supporting those in need with any relief.
But Fred Enanga, the Uganda Police Force Spokesperson says their teams have been instructed to ensure that all government directives are observed to the latter to ensure that people remain safe from the COVID-19 pandemic.