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Opposition demand special Covid-19 budget for Kampala

Opposition head in Parliament Mpuuga 

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Leaders in Kampala City have asked the government to allocate a special budget for the management of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kampala.

Kampala and Wakiso districts have been hit hard by the Covid-19 second wave. Before declaring a 42-day lockdown, President Yoweri Museveni banned inter-district movements indicating that Kampala and Wakiso were registering a high number of Covid-19 cases.

Addressing a joint press conference on Friday at Parliament, the KCCA Lord Mayor Lukwago said that despite Kampala being severely hit by covid-19, there is no special budget allocated to manage the situation. He said that ever since March 2020, no single ambulance has been purchased for KCCA to evacuate victims.

He suggested that government should be able to purchase at least two ambulances for each division in Kampala.

Lukwago also said that the special budget would enable KCCA to equip all its health facilities with the necessary medical requirements needed to fight Covid-19. Asked the total budget that KCCA needs for Covid-19 response, Lukwago was hesitant to give a figure saying that the money needed is to help build capacity to do surveillance, health workers to monitor the city, purchasing Personal Protective Equipment-PPE for health workers and others.

Regarding Covid-19 relief, the opposition leaders also expressed their dissatisfaction over how the government handled the data collection process and delivery of relief cash in Kampala. Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja launched the cash releasing process on Thursday.

“The people were quite expectant. They raised their anxiety, expectations and am sure many borrowed money, others were hoping to take their loved ones to the hospital, others were expecting to at least have a meal for the first time in the lockdown…all of a sudden, they get reports that in Kampala the lists have not been properly validated,” said Lukwago.

He said that this is an embarrassment to the government which has failed to help the households in the city.

Lukwago also queried the collection of data, saying that it continues to be shrouded in mystery with no framework and failure to involve the elected leaders in Kampala.

Rubaga North MP, Abubaker Kawalya, the Shadow Minister for Kampala demanded that government explains the structure of managing Covid-19 in Kampala city since the opposition leaders have been left out on the Kampala District Taskforce.

Kawalya also said that government needs to work with elected leaders in Kampala to ensure that the vulnerable people in the city get immediate relief like other Ugandans.

The Leader of Opposition, Matthias Mpuuga said that together with the Shadow Cabinet, they are determined to demand answers regarding the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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