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Saturday,November 28,2020 22:58 PM

Roundup: Stories that trended this week

By Peter Mwayi

Added 12th July 2020 06:24 PM

While still on the matter of COVID-19, while Ugandans expected President Yoweri Museveni to speak about latest updates on the situation of the pandemic, especially concerning the continued lockdown of certain sections of the economy, the President, delivering his address on World Population Day on Saturday, almost avoided speaking about it.

Roundup: Stories that trended this week

ISO director general Col Kaka Bagyenda

While still on the matter of COVID-19, while Ugandans expected President Yoweri Museveni to speak about latest updates on the situation of the pandemic, especially concerning the continued lockdown of certain sections of the economy, the President, delivering his address on World Population Day on Saturday, almost avoided speaking about it.

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Two of Uganda's top security organs, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and the Internal Security Organisation, at the end of this week grabbed the headlines when dissension over a suspect led to the summoning of the director at ISO. 

Col Kaka Bagyenda, who is not new to controversy, was on Friday escorted to Mbuya army headquarters where he was required to report following a CMI raid on ISO safe house in Kikaaya that resulted in a shootout and ended in CMI operatives capturing two suspects that were being held by ISO.  

Information so far gathered has it that the CMI had earlier requested their counterparts to handover Issa Furaha Arinaitwe, a treason suspect who had earlier fled the country citing death threats from former IGP Kale Kayihura. 

It is said that the refusal to hand over Arinaitwe promoted CMI to go and take him by force in a shootout that also led to the arrest of four ISO guards. 

The deployment that escorted Col Kaka to headquarters led many to believe that he had been arrested. Full story: https://newvisionapp.page.link/srPBNWkPpcEJmnCX8. 

Meanwhile, Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng has suffered the full force of the frustration that Ugandans have towards government measures to curb the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19.

Social media was awash with a photograph and a video of the minister speaking to a crowd that had gathered and did not respect the social distancing measures. 

Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng


Dr Aceng, who arguably is the biggest proponent of social distancing and wearing of masks, herself had no mask on and was standing very close to the crowd. 

Her efforts to explain that she was launching the distribution of face masks in Aromo sub-county and sensitising the crowd about wearing of masks has not been received well by already angry social media critics who say she must practice what she preaches. 

While still on the matter of COVID-19, while Ugandans expected President Yoweri Museveni to speak about latest updates on the situation of the pandemic, especially concerning the continued lockdown of certain sections of the economy, the President, delivering his address on World Population Day on Saturday, almost avoided speaking about it. He in fact delivered what could be recorded as one of his shortest addresses since he became President in 1986. 

President Yoweri Museveni


In Kampala, arcade owners have continued to request the government to open their places of work arguing that the pandemic has not been as brutal on Uganda as elsewhere. A team from the government was instituted early last month to study the possibility of allowing arcades to open like other businesses that have been allowed to operate. 

The team lead by KCCA head if inspection and education, Dr Emmilliano Ahimbisibwe made indication this week that government is ready to consider opening if arcade owners comply with the COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

"We came up with a list of SOPs and forwarded them in advance to all arcade owners so as to give them time to prepare and put in place what was demanded," Ahimbisibwe said.

The team took an impromptu tour of arcades to establish whether they were ready for opening. However, their findings showed laxity on the side of arcade owners to implement the SOPs, leaving government pondering allowing only select arcades that had started implementing the procedures. 

At Parliament, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga on Wednesday added her voice to religious leaders to call for the opening of places of worship. While addressing Parliamentarians during interdenominational prayers to mark the opening of the 5th session of Parliament, Kadaga argued that since the country's motto is For God and My country, the government should allow people gather to worship. 

Bishop Dr.David Kiganda, president National pastors platform of Uganda


Earlier pastors led by Bishop David Kiganda threatened to demonstrate demanding that since places such as Kikubo trading area, which can hardly enforce SOPs are open, places of worship too should be allowed to operate. 

On the political arena, the ruling NRM party has had back-to-back meetings of their Central Executive Committee, with pundits believing that the meetings were discussing a way forward in conducting party primaries with the pandemic still around us.  

President of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) Mugisha Muntu, Jinja East Member of Parliament (MP) Paul Mwiru, Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga and ANT acting national co-ordinator Alice Alaso sharing a light moment. File photo)


In the Opposition camp, all is not well. Ground movements indicate that the Opposition camp is short on choices for leaders as this week saw top legislator Paul Mwiru shift camp from FDC to newly formed ANT. The shift created ripples in Opposition causing a war of words among many leaders. 

Arua Central Division MP Wadri Kasiano Ezati addressing the media on Saturday at his home. (File photo)


Meanwhile another top Opposition leader, Arua Central Division MP Kassiano Wadri has come out to deny rumours that he was dead. In an interview with media on Saturday, the MP said he had been attacked by an illness which he could not explain but thanks to prayers from various religious leaders, he is recovering. We wish the honourable MP a quick recovery. 

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