Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake has been arrested on allegations of defying a ban on distribution of relief food to individuals. President Yoweri Museveni had earlier on advised that all relief supplies should be channeled through the National COVID-19 taskforce, to avoid exposing people to circumstances that can lead to the spread of the disease.
According to the president, relief food would be distributed to individuals whose livelihood was disrupted by the measures that were put in place to control the spread of coronavirus disease. The idea of centralizing the distribution was to ensure that food is distributed in an orderly manner by the food distribution teams which are screened to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus to vulnerable families benefiting from food donations.
Despite the guidance, Zaake was allegedly found distributing food to his constituents in Mityana on Sunday. He was found with packs of rice and sugar which he was giving to selected households in Buswabulongo and Kiwawu villages in Mityana municipality.
Zaake was subsequently arrested by joint security forces led by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces-UPDF and Uganda Police. Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga says that Zaake was arrested for disobeying lawful orders adding that his actions do not only show negligence but are likely to spread the disease among the population.
“This was outside the guidelines and protocols of the National Task Force, a national fundraising and food distribution team that is overseeing all forms of support to vulnerable families facing hunger or struggling to afford food within Uganda during this period of the pandemic,” Enanga said.
Joel Ssenyonyi, the spokesperson for People Power, a pressure group to which Zaake subscribes says that Zaake had hired motorcycles to safely deliver food to starving people in his constituency.
Ssenyonyi said that people were flooding the politician’s home seeking help.