Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) 2021 presidential candidate Maj Gen (Rtd) Gregg Mugisha Muntu wants health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng and officials at the ministry to explain why they failed to distribute masks to all Ugandans.
Months ago, President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni announced his government would give all Ugandans above the age of six free face masks to help prevent the spread of the deadly Covid19 disease.
As of November 23, 2020, Uganda’s death toll from Covid19 stood at 181, cumulative number of infections at 18,165 and recoveries at 8,675.
With cases rising in the midst of election campaigns, Maj Gen Muntu says the meetings he has so far held show that less than 10 per cent of the people received face masks from government.
“I have been moving around in the last 10 days, I have not seen any community where even 10 per cent of the population has a [Government of Uganda] GoU marked face mask. In Kikuube, I saw only five people; here [in Hoima] I don’t even see one. Where did the Shs56bn go?” Muntu asked.
Even when the ministry revised the face masks budget from Shs56bn to Shs81bn, Muntu says many Ugandans are yet to receive the masks.
“The Ministry of Health should come out and indicate how many masks were produced, how were they distributed, how many were sent to each district, how many were sent to each Gombolola, how much they cost, etc so that there is public accountability!” Muntu said.
In early October, State Minister for Primary Healthcare Dr Joyce Moriku put the figure of distributed masks at 20 million of the 33 government had planned to give out.
Moriku noted that manufacturers had failed to deliver the masks at the rate at which they had earlier committed themselves.
“The total production mass capacity was expected to be 800,000 per day as promised by the Uganda Manufacturers Association. However, this number has not been achieved at all with a significantly low output,” minister Moriku said last month.