Panic as Kyotera magistrate tests positive for Covid-19

Wednesday October 21 2020
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A Coronavirus response team pictured on October 20, 2020, taking samples of a prison warder at Kasaali in Kyotera District where a court magistrate tested positive for Covid-19. PHOTO / AMBROSE MUSASIZI

By Ambrose Musasizi

A grade two magistrate in Kyotera District has tested positive for Coronavirus, throwing the district staff, especially those who had interacted with him, in panic.

Mr Geoffrey Luwaga, the Kasaali Grade II Magistrate had a serious fever which prompted him to seek medication at Kakuuto HC IV on October 16 where he was also subjected to a Covid-19 test.

Mr Luwaga had just presided over the hearing of several influential cases, including that of dancehall artiste Richard Kasendwa alias Ziza Bafana and four others who had been charged for sneaking into Tanzania through the Mutukula porous borders to perform at a music show.

Ziza Bafana and his colleagues later pleaded guilty and were fined Shs 75,000 by the magistrate.

Following the magistrate’s test results, the Kyotera District Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr Gabriel Rogers Bwayo has today ordered mass testing of all the district employees.

“I made an official communication yesterday (Monday) and I have reminded my employees today that they have to get tested so that one gets to know his or her status in regards to the pandemic,” he told this reporter on Tuesday.


Mr Joachim Wasswa, the Kyotera District Covid-19 focal person and District Surveillance Officer said over 200 employees are expected to be tested.

“We are going to test the Kasaali prison guards, district employees and all those who have been in contact with the magistrate by closure of business today,” he said.

Meanwhile, business at Kasaali and Kakuuto magistrates’ courts has been suspended for the next 14 days as health workers monitor the situation.

Rtd Major David Matovu, the Kyotera Resident District Commissioner (RDC) and head of Covid-19 task force said the pandemic will easily be handled if people observe the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) given by the Ministry of Health.

“We got information that Tanzania started testing for Covid-19 which is a great achievement for our neighbors. We have all along been complaining about the Ugandans who have been crisscrossing in the two countries yet Tanzania had not put any lockdown or even observing the SOPs,” he explained.

Kyotera is one of the border districts (neighboring Tanzania) whose lockdown restrictions were relaxed by President Museveni starting October 1.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has registered 97 new Covid-19 infections as virus cases on Tuesday rose to 10,788.

They include 96 contacts and alerts from Kiryandongo (32), Kampala (25), Soroti (19), Wakiso (8), Mbale (6), Tororo (2), Lira (1), Pallisa (1), Jinja (1) and Buikwe (1) districts.

The other one is a truck driver from Busia District.

The Ministry did not report any new virus deaths as the country’s fatalities remained at 97.

To date, Uganda has tested a total of 524,966 samples. However, 7,066 people who previously tested positive for the virus have recovered after treatment and have been discharged from hospitals across the country.