What you need to know:
- The Resident City Commissioner warned that any teacher caught with a fake card will be arrested.
More than 200 teachers in Lira City have allegedly faked Covid-19 vaccination cards in order to access schools on January 10, Daily Monitor has learnt.
City authorities accuse health workers of being behind the forgeries.
The chairperson of Lira City Covid-19 taskforce committee, Mr Lawrence Egole, urged the public to desist from the vice.
“I am warning you that if you are a victim of this malpractice, you are a candidate for prison,” Mr Egole, who doubles as the Lira Resident City Commissioner (RCC), told journalists last week.
He warned that teachers without genuine Covid-19 vaccination cards would not be allowed to enter classrooms or access schools.
“We are going to use a database that captures everybody who is vaccinated. If you are not vaccinated and use a fake certificate to access schools then you want to kill children, other teachers and members of the community. So, we shall treat you as that and you should stand warned,” Mr Egole said.
While Mr Egole did not provide figures on the number of teachers involved in the malpractice, his deputy Mr Paul Eseru later said so far 200 teachers were allegedly in possession of fake Covid-19 vaccination cards.
In October 2021, the taskforce also accused health workers at Lira Regional Referral Hospital of selling forged Covid-19 vaccination cards to the public.
The fake vaccination cards were allegedly being sold to individuals at Shs100,000 each. It is also alleged that those who wanted to access the vaccines were being charged Shs10,000 at the same hospital.
“We have received intelligence reports indicating that some health workers are receiving Shs10,000 for a person to get vaccinated and Shs100,000 for fake Covid-19 cards, contrary to the government policy of free Covid-19 vaccinations,” Mr Eseru said.
Maj Robert Okello, the Lira City Internal Security Officer, said they generated names of those involved in the dubious act, urging the hospital administration to step in to stop the vice. To date, no arrest has been made.
Col Chris Wobugabe, a senior intelligence officer with Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in Lango Sub-region, urged the public to always report such cases for quick action.
“There is a group of people who are decampaigning the Covid-19 vaccination programme using social media platforms that the vaccines have negative impacts. This could be the reason some people are paying for vaccination cards at Shs100,000 yet they are free,” Col Wobugabe said.
He said they also obtained an intelligence report that most teachers are dodging vaccination and paying for the fake cards.
There were 44 government aided and more than 80 private primary schools in Lira City before the closure of schools to stop the spread of Covid-19 in March 2020.
Mr Tom Ronald Omara, the Lira City inspector of schools, told this newspaper that the number of private schools is likely to reduce since some of them have collapsed as a result of the impact of the Covid-19-induced lockdown.
Compiled by Bill Oketch, Patrick Ebong, & Charity Akullo