Ebola: Inside Dr Besigye’s alternative response plan

Dr Kizza Besigye addresses the press at the Forum for Democratic Change headquarters in Najjanankumbi yesterday. On the right is the Kampala Lord Mayor, Mr Erias Lukwago. PHOTO / ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • He has called on the government to have in place a clear disaster management plan with a special budget to manage disaster and other related emergencies.

Former presidential contender, Dr Kizza Besigye, has opposed the government directive of cutting short the third term academic year from December 9 to November 25, advising that the spread of the Ebola disease can be prevented through sensitisation and other methods.

Addressing journalists in Kampala yesterday, Dr Besigye said it would be easy to control and monitor the spread of Ebola in a controlled environment like schools than letting the learners return to their homes where their movements are not well controlled.

“It is ridiculous to say that Ebola is spreading in schools and you only choose to close them on November 25 without any measures to prevent the spread of the disease between now and the date of closure,” Dr Besigye said.

He added: “Control of Ebola is much easier in a regulated environment like that of schools, but at home, the learners will spend all the time playing and making contacts among themselves, increasing chances of spreading the virus in such an unregulated environment,” Dr Besigye said.

He said the unidentified positive cases in schools will now carry the virus to their home areas, accusing the State of reckless expenditure that has impacted negatively on the country’s education system.

Dr Besigye rallied parents to fight for the future of their children.

He called on the government to have in place a clear disaster management plan with a special budget to manage disaster and other related emergencies.

“I heard the Minister of Health saying the government has not remitted the Shs80b for Ebola response. This is a result of the government’s failure to have a national budget to respond to such calamities. There is a mandatory need to review the national budget in accordance with the current crisis,” Dr Besigye remarked.

He called on the government to prioritise the fight against corruption so that the government money is put to proper use.

Dr Besigye further noted that Ugandans are paying more attention to the skyrocketing inflation without taking into consideration the health and safety measures.

“Currently, we have a two-digit inflation (11 percent) and all Ugandans are looking for survival without considering the health precautionary measures. All prices hiked but people’s salaries remained the same. The cost of living has made people forget about guidelines from the Ministry of Health,” Dr Besigye said.

Attacks on police

In another development, Dr Kizza Besigye, linked the recent attacks on police posts to torture victims, who he said could be trying to revenge due to state atrocities committed against them.

“The grabbing of guns is not an ordinary crime but a political response to the current economic crisis, and it is done either by the victims of the crisis like the survivors of the drone incidents or it could be done by the state itself as a clandestine measure to pounce and declare a state of emergency to suppress the population,” Dr Besigye said

He also called upon Members of Parliament to come up with an official communication on the state of affairs between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo in response to remarks made by the senior presidential advisor-in-charge of special operations and first son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba that it was very dangerous for anybody to fight the M23 rebels who have launched war against the DR Congo government.

“The government is spending a lot of money on the deployment in DR Congo but it is like Uganda has taken sides in the conflict. The UPDF forces that were deployed in DR Congo are meant to fight the M23 rebels but at the same time the then commander of the land forces who ordered their deployment says it is very wrong to fight his brothers (M23 rebels), why is government still in DR Congo?” Dr Besigye remarked.


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