A section of local leaders from various villages in Budaka Town Council, together with the Village Health Teams (VHTs) this week rejected the government face masks that had been given to them to distribute to residents.
A total of 200,734 masks had been released by the Ministry of Health and meant to serve 20 sub counties in Budaka in the effort of combating the spread of COVI-19.
However, in Thursday meeting Budaka Town Council headquarters, local leaders together with Village Health Teams turned down the masks on grounds that they were fewer than they had anticipated.
“How can you direct us to give a household of ten people only four masks? This is against the government policy,” Patrick Kabazi, the Chairperson of Nakibulu Village openly asked authorities amidst ululations from colleagues.
Kabazi together with his colleagues noted that the mask distribution will not commence unless the government brings the right number of masks.
Hellen Aruto, the Budaka VHT Coordinator said they will not risk distributing inadequate face masks and end up being accused of stealing them.
In May during the Covid19 lockdown, President Museveni directed the relevant authorities including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance to procure face masks and distribute them to all Ugandans aged 6 years and above.
Aruto on this note said they couldn’t risk angering the residents more because they are already unhappy with the late distribution,
“Taking few masks will ignite their anger and this will automatically affect President Museveni’s votes,” she noted.
An attempt by the Budaka Town Clerk, David Tabitya to convince the leaders and VHTs to accept the masks was futile as they refused to listen to him.
Mr. Elly Pi-Wang, the Chief Administrative Officer of Budaka condemned the behavior of the leaders and VHTs and pledged to interface with them.
As of Friday December 18, Uganda had recorded 30,071 cases with 230 deaths.