By David Omoding
The Village LC1 chairpersons and Village Health Teams (VHTs) of Budaka Town Council, Budaka District have today 18th December 2020 rejected government face masks.
Budaka district had on Monday 14th December 2020 received a total of 200,734 face masks to be distributed to their communities across the 20 sub-counties to curb the likely spread of covid -19 virus.
Trouble started when Patrick Kabazi, the chairperson LC 1 of Nakibuli village in Budaka Town Council and doubles as the chairperson of LC Ones stood up to say the masks were inadequate compared to the number of the anticipated beneficiaries.
The irate LCs then unanimously vowed that the distribution of the masks will not take place unless government amends the discrepancies.
”How can you direct us to give 4 masks to a family of ten people? This is against government policy, as of now we can’t take masks till government sends more,” Kabazi said attracting thunderous applause from his colleagues.
Hellen Aruto, the District VHT coordinator said they did not want to take a risk again to distribute inadequate face mask to the locals like it was during the time of mosquito nets.
She said locals are already angered by the previous shortage of nets and taking few masks to them will ignite their anger and this will automatically affect NRM President Museveni’s vote and other flag bearers during the forthcoming general elections due on 14th Jan 2021
She added that distributing insufficient face masks will affect the Presidential out come on 14 Jan 2020.
Attempts by the Town Clerk, David Tabitya to convince the irate officers to first take the available masks and distribute and then come up with the list of those who will miss out fell on deaf ears as one LC attempted to punch him.
The Chief administrative officer (CAO) Budaka, Mr Elly Pi-wang condemned the conduct of the officers saying they were basing on wrong assumptions.
He said the district had allocated 15,352 masks for distribution among the 3,838 households and had reserved extra 3630 masks to cater for any shortfall.
Mr Pi-wang pledged to interface with the aggrieved LCs and VHTs before the distribution resumes.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the masks well and always adhere to the SOPs set by government and ministry of health.