Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A section of Members of Parliament on Tuesday afternoon raised queries on what could have caused the death of their colleague Faith Alupo, the Woman MP for Pallisa district.
Alupo died a week ago after a short illness. At the time of her death, there was information indicating that she had succumbed to COVID-19. But the second Deputy Prime Minister Alhajji Ali Kirunda Kivejinja told Parliament this afternoon that the legislator was expecting and receiving treatment for diabetes and high blood pressure.
Kivejinja described the deceased as a good cadre of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party who died at a young age of 36. This was during a special sitting held to pay tribute to the late Alupo at parliament this afternoon.
Usually, special sittings are preceded by the deceased lying in state in the foyer of parliament for the public to pay its last respects. However, Alupo’s body did not lie in state and in her communication, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga attributed the change to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to observe Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the prevention of coronavirus disease.
During the debate, Kadaga also informed MPs that Alupo’s husband only identified as Ochom could not attend the special sitting since he was in quarantine. However, their two children and other relatives were in attendance.
Sarah Opendi the State Minister of Mineral Development recounted the first message she received indicating that their colleague had succumbed to COVID-19, something she could not believe. Opendi noted that the circumstances send a message to those living with non-communicable diseases to take more care especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Busia Municipality MP Geoffrey Macho demanded that the government should come out clearly on deaths related to COVID-19 as well as accountability for funds availed to fight coronavirus.
Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa said that they deserve to know the right information especially regarding issues of public health. He wondered why the cause of death was not coming out clearly at a time when it was important for people who could have come in contact with the deceased to know and take necessary measures.
Ismael Omoding, a brother to the deceased told the media on Tuesday that his sister was first admitted to Nakasero hospital on September 8, 2020, with chest pain and difficulty in breathing. He confirmed that test results turned positive for COVID-19. This information is however yet to be corroborated by the health ministry.