The Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees says it is considering revoking the refugee status of some immigrants following the spread of Covid-19 infections and deaths within refugee settlements.
According to the disaster state minister, Mr Musa Echweru, some refugees have been sneaking back into their countries of origin and returning to Uganda, whom he believes could be the importing the virus into the camps.
“It is believed that the refugee who died in Hoima sneaked into DR Congo and back into the Kyangwali camp in Hoima after getting the Coronavirus. Our refugee settlements are like our rural villages,” he said adding, “We have sensitized refugees about the Covid-19 guidelines and we are also considering making it criminal to sneak into their countries and returning to Uganda or even evoking their refugee status,” he said.
Mr Echweru made the remarks on Tuesday as he addressed journalists upon the return of his nomination papers at the NRM secretariat, Kyadondo Road in Kampala.
Mr Echweru is among the incumbent NRM ministers and Members of Parliament who returned their nomination forms to contest for the 2021 Parliamentary seat under the NRM ticket. Notable also was Rebecca Kadaga the Speaker of Parliament who is seeking to retain her Kamuli woman MP seat.
Both Echweru and the Speaker urged government to speed up the distribution of free face masks across the country saying during their recent campaigns, they have noted with dismay how people especially those outside Kampala, are not adhering to the Covid-19 health guidelines and yet the infections continue increasing in the community.