Call for transparency in war against COVID-19

While Ugandans welcome the daily updates on the battle against COVID-19, they would also appreciate an update on the accountability. For example, do all health workers have Personal Protective Equipment? How are the health workers being facilitated to stay motivated to do their work ?

The Parliament of Uganda approved a supplementary budget of sh284b to fight Covid-19. This was to be used by the ministries of health, security, local government, and disaster preparedness and refugees.

Out of the sh284b, security got sh77.4 b; local government, sh36.1b; disaster preparedness, sh59.4 b; KCCA, sh30.1b.

A total of sh107 was allocated to the Ministry of Health although officials in the ministry argued that this was a drop in the ocean, given that they have always got less money than needed. The need for the supplementary budget was real.

The appeal by the President to philanthropists to give a hand was a welcome move and the people responded in affirmative. From as high as sh1.3b to as low as sh5,000, people responded to the President’s call. People and companies brought in vehicles, ambulances, food, sanitisers, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), etc.

More than 30 vehicles have been collected as well as over sh6b from companies, organizations, and individuals. Many tonnes of food have also been collected to assist the people whose sources of income were disrupted by the current lockdown. That was a good gesture from Ugandans in times of need such as this.

However, the public that is donating these items has been shown more of the pictures of officials receiving the items and there is little information or publicity on how the items received are being used and who is receiving them.

Read more