Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police are holding two suspects accused of dumping a coffin of a baby at Mulago National Referral Hospital with placards demanding the immediate annulment of the reappointment of Dr. Diana Atwine, as the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health.
President Yoweri Museveni reappointed Dr. Atwine in a recent reshuffle of accounting officers. Her appointment drew protests from some people accusing Dr. Atwine of masterminding the loss of money meant for the COVID-19 response.
On July 27th, 2021, unknown people dumped a coffin at Mulago Hospital with placards demanding Dr. Atwine’s removal, prompting police to swing into action and hunt for them. The coffin which was later removed by police had placards with words attacking Dr. Atwine, “COVID-19 is not a profit venture,” read on the placards.
“Twine’s re-appointment should be cancelled, Twine should resign now, ‘Tukooye’ we are tired,” reads another. The Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire says that their hunt has led to the arrest of two suspects.
The suspects are Augustine Ojobile and Sharif Kawooya alias Kajambiya, who were arrested in Kasubi and Kawempe respectively. The suspects are in custody at Kawempe police station on charges of inciting violence.
“They directly participated in throwing the coffin with words targeting the permanent secretary in Wandegeya, we have been looking for them until we tracked and arrested them.
Their files have been forwarded to the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions-DPP for probable sanctions,” said Owoyesigyire. He says that investigations are still ongoing to arrest the remaining suspects who are still at large.
Recently, while reacting to the increasing attacks against Dr. Atwine and other health officials, the Ministry of Health spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyona said they would not be derailed by such attacks.
“Despite the availability of facts and accountability, we have also noted that these groups are not interested in the available facts through known accountability channels. We appeal to security and enforcement agencies to interest themselves and investigate the groups behind this smear campaign targeting individuals within the ministry,” Ainebyoona said.