Patients and pregnant mothers have been stranded in Wakiso District following alleged closure of the office of the Resident District Commissioner (RDC).
The act has been criticised by the district Human Rights Committee chaired by Mr Elly Kasirye, who said it was a ‘non practical’ security measure to vest powers of movement permits in the hands of the RDC.
“The permission procedure which has been put in the office of RDCs is not practical mostly for pregnant mothers and persons with chronic diseases. Even most RDCs and departments involved in this Covid-19 prevention should be well facilitated at least with fuel to reach out in case of emergencies,” Mr Kasirye said yesterday.
However, Ms Rose Kirabira, the RDC, said the claims are malicious. “I was appointed and assigned by the President. I cannot deviate from his directives. I know how I do my work,” she said.
Last week, Ms Kirabira said she had changed from issuing permits in hard copy to soft copies via WhatsApp. She was, however, challenged by patients who accused her of not responding to messages.
In Mr Kasirye’s statement, he said: “A few issues have also come to our attention. Although the security forces are doing commendable work of protecting citizens, there has been use of maximum force. Local Defence Unit (LDUs) and police have beaten up Ugandans.”
“We call upon security forces to implement the guidelines without forgetting that Ugandans have a right to life, respect and dignity,” he added.
The district chairperson, Mr Matiya Lwanga Bwanika, said his task force ensures that safety information reaches the common person in all villages through all local government structures.
But he took exception of the manner in which movement stickers were issued. “It is surprising that human rights defenders are not given stickers to monitor incidents of violations happening in villages,” Mr Bwanika said.
Despite appreciating the health sector for the efforts made, Mr Kasirye said there was need to recruit and train more health staff to handle the Covid-19 pandemic.
He asked government to remove mobile money taxes to ease purchase of item. He also asked for reduced cost of electricity, water and other essential commodities.
“At this moment, everyone is affected. Even the business people are currently consuming their capital. We are all vulnerable so government should be as open and inclusive as possible in its interventions,” Mr Kasirye saids.