Museveni slashes RDCs powers in COVID-19 fight as cases reach 48

President Museveni. File photo.

Minister for Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng announced three new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday night.                                                                   

President Museveni on Friday warned Local Defense Unit [LDUs] and Crime Preventers who are misusing curfew to stop with immediate effect.

The President said only three bodies: Police who [lead], UPDF and LDUs are the ones to implement his curfew directives – not Crime Preventers. 

Mr Museveni, who said he had been informed of some LDUs entering peoples’ homes at night, directed them to stop it immediately.

He also directed that anybody whose home is searched by an LDU should immediately report to nearest police or phone Lt Col Edith Nakalema team. Lt Col Nakalema is the head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit.

According to the President, he has also been told of some Crime Preventers implementing his directive – curfew.

He said they are not part of COVID-19 fight. “Self-deployment must stop,” the Commander in Chief warned.

On corruption, Museveni told the nation that: “I hear some RDCs were giving movement orders. That’s not their work and must stop. Contact Nakalema of any corruption so that we sort those ‘pigs’.”

Early this week, a movement permit ‘purportedly’ issued by Rukungiri RDC Dan Kaguta to a man who had sought permission to transport a patient using a private car, leaked on social media.

Mandate to issue movement permit[s] has been given to Ministry of Works and Transport. For Greater Kampala Metropolitan area, according to Works and Transport Minsiter, Gen Katumba Wamala, issuance of stickers [movement permits] are complete.

Gen Wamala further told the President that for upcountry essential service providers, issuance of stickers will be handed by the district COVID-19 task force.

The Pearl of Africa has intensified measures of fighting novel coronavirus [COVID-19] in the country. These measures, coupled with the President’s directives, have seen few cases being confirmed because they are “being followed”.

Museveni seems to be happy with the directives he put in place and the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. However, he’s still concerned about the many people seen walking on foot every day when everyone is expected to stay home.

Not interested in arresting anybody walking on foot during the day, he, however, asked the police and the UPDF to be stop these people and ask them the question: “Where are you going?” 

The three new cases were confirmed on Friday evening, at the same nation address by Health Minister – Dr Jane Ruth Aceng – bringing the total cases to 48.

Out of 419 samples tested on Friday, only three tested positive. They are returnees from Dubai and United States who were all put in mandatory quarantine, the Minister added.

The Minster also revealed that there are 660 contacts scattered in the community who are to be followed-up within this current lockdown.

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