The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has directed that three MPs and two staff who returned from Dubai, UAE be quarantined to avoid the spread of the coronavirus to their colleagues and their families.
This directive by the for MPs Kafeero Ssekitoleko(Nakifuma County), Cissy Namujju(Lwengo District) and Sempala Kigozi(Makindye Sabagabo) followed concerns by some legislators that the three declined to observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine as directed by the Ministry of Health upon their return.
Hon. Jalia Bintu (NRM, Masindi District) called for testing of all MPs and staff following allegations that some MPs who had returned recently from abroad had accessed the Parliament building.
“I want to propose that all of us get tested so that the country can be reassured that its representatives are secure. These MPs were in the canteen and touched everywhere. We are not sure if we are safe,” said Jalia Bintu.
Kawempe North MP, Hon. Latif Ssebaggala said that such legislators were putting their own families at risk of infection.
“We need a directive to follow up all these Members of Parliament and quarantine them by force,” Ssebaggala said.
Kasilo County MP, Hon. Elijah Okupa said it was upon all Ugandans especially leaders to paint a good image of self-protection and protection of those people who surround them.
“Last week, our team from the Pan-African Parliament returned on a Monday but one of them, Hon. James Kakooza was here the following day to attend plenary and we had to send him away,” Okupa said.
The legislators also called for interventions in limiting access into the country through the porous borders and on Lakes Victoria and Albert.
“Security personnel is saying they want to leave the islands simply because there are no measures by Government to protect them while they check people crossing by water from Kenya,” said Hon. George Abott Ouma (NRM, Bukooli Island County).
Rukiga District Woman MP, Hon. Caroline Kamusiime asked the security agencies to pay more attention to small border areas between Rwanda and Uganda.
The Speaker revealed that four more members of the Committee on Health had been seconded to the National Taskforce to follow-up and oversee the work being done by the Health Ministry.
“These MPs have registered your concerns and will present them to the Health Ministry and other stakeholders at their next meeting so that they can be urgently addressed,” said Kadaga.
The MPs include Hon. Michael Bukenya, (Chair, Health Committee), Hon. Sam Lyomoki, Hon. Fred Baseke, Hon. Robina Nakasirye and Hon. Beatrice Rwakimari.