President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s long time opponent Dr. Kizza Besigye has criticized his nemesis’s move to ‘monopolise’ the production and supply of masks in a latest move to curb the spread of Corona virus. While addressing the nation yesterday night about the government’s progress in fighting the pandemic, Museveni advised Ugandans to stay home for two more weeks as the government works on the issue of providing every Ugandan above the age of 6 years with one.
According to the 4 time presidential candidate, the idea of using masks is good but monopolizing it wasn’t the best way forward. “Post-lockdown popular use of masks is a good safeguard. “However, as seen from WHO guidelines below, there’s no scientifically specified type of non-medical masks. If Ugandan Scientists have recommended specifications for such masks, they should be published, so that, whoever wants can produce them” Besigye said.
Besigye wondered how a low developed country like Uganda will be able to achieve this yet powerful countries like America delegated the task to everyone capable by just giving out guidance. “The USA Health Protection Agency, CDC, has guidelines on how various materials can be used to make non-medical face masks at home. Below are some of the guidelines on how to make them. So, why would a Highly Indebted Country Poor Country (HIPC), like Uganda, insist on making and issuing every citizen a face mask? Moreover, decree that everyone stays at home until you issue them with the “Government” mask!” he added.
He suggested the need for government to give mask specifications in case they have them and only supply individuals who can’t access them on their own. It’s upon these grounds that Besigye suspected something fishy within the project adding that no one should be forced to put on government supplied masks. ‘It seems a dubious deal is already made with Nytil (Southern Range Nyanza), Jinja to “produce” and supply the masks. I’ll say more about this separately. Forcing “Government” masks on all is unacceptable and illegal. It could even give credence for the security threats that have been circulating about giving out of poisoned masks”.
Before the development, President Museveni had already made it a must for everyone in a public place to put on a mask a few days back. Meanwhile, Ugandans expressed worry about whether the government will be able to produce enough masks for the whole country within a period of two weeks and supply them Ugandans considering the rate at which relief food distribution has been handled in the past weeks.