Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng says the recent Lira incident offered her a great lesson for her political journey.
Last week, Minister Aceng courted controversy after photos and a video of her in a procession and a meeting without observing preventive guidelines like social distance and wearing of face masks.
In her defence then, she said people were excited to see ‘Mama Corona’ and hence became uncontrollable.
She also denied claims that she was campaigning for Lira Woman MP after expressing interest in the seat days earlier.
But public anger raged on, with some like opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda calling for Aceng’s resignation.
MINISTER ACENG: I DID NO WRONG
The Minister appeared before Parliament’s Health Committee on July 15 to offer an update on the distribution of masks.
She told the committee that government has already distributed six million masks in 20 districts, including Amuru, Kyotera, Arua, Lira, Yumbe, Gulu, Ntungamo, Masaka and Mbarara.
On the Lira procession, Aceng denied any wrong doing.
“Did I do anything wrong? I think in that video where women were dancing, I had my mask on and I didn’t have contact with anyone,” she said.
“I also took off to train these people because they had contact with each other. Had I not done so, that’s where I would have gone wrong.”
ACENG LESSONS FROM LIRA INCIDENT
The Minister told MPs that the Lira procession backlash “was a big lesson as I move into the political arena — that I will face such scenarios from time to time.”
The other lesson she picked from the incident was that “people you move out anywhere, you need to have prepared the people in that area adequately.”
Aceng further told the committee that even if the Electoral Committee okays regulated meetings, politicians must emphasize SoPs.
“It is important that we pass on messages to the population clearly that this not a time for gathering and crowding,” she submitted.
“We need to be very tactful in ensuring that we engage only the required number of people as per the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs).”