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Kabale RDC apologizes over brutality of health workers

Muhammad Byaruhanga, Kabale Regional Referral Hospital orthopedist who was assaulted by security. Courtesy photo

Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Kabale Resident District Commissioner Darius Nandinda has apologized to health workers in the district for being harassed by security personnel enforcing the Covid-19 presidential directives.

In the past weeks, security personnel in the district have been under criticism for brutalizing healthy workers. On Sunday night, a police officer who was enforcing curfew assaulted and injured Muhammad Byaruhanga, an orthopedist at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital.

Byaruhanga was beaten at 9:00 pm as he was returning home. This caused uproar against security with some of the locals demanding the sacking of Nandinda.

During the district Covid-19 task force meeting held on Thursday at District Council hall, Dr Johnson Bitungwa, the head of psychosocial support on the district Covid-19 taskforce told Nandinda that before Byaruhanga’s beating, security officers two weeks ago had assaulted Kenneth Niwagaba, the nursing officer at Kabale regional referral hospital and the head of Covid-19 treatment facility.

Bitungwa says that Niwagaba was heading to the hospital at around 8:00 pm to attend to a Covid-19 patient who required oxygen. Bitungwa adds that security personnel also last week assaulted an intern nurse who was heading home in Butobere at around 6:30 pm.

Bitungwa wondered why security is continuing to brutalize health workers yet they are categorized as essential workers sacrificing their lives to attend to Covid-19 patients.

Alfred Besigensi, Kabale District Health Officer said that he was also assaulted when he tried to rescue a health worker who had been intercepted by security personnel while heading to work in Maziba sub-county.

However, in his response, Nandinda apologized to the health workers describing the incidents as unfortunate. Nandinda says that investigations into Byaruhanga’s beating are currently ongoing and officers who took part will be held responsible as individuals.

Henry Kisembo, the Kigezi region Police Field Force Unit (FFU) Commander says that some health workers provoke the security personnel which results in confrontation.

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