Quarantine scandal casts doubt on Museveni’s claims of success against Covid-19
By Edith Wandera
Information leaking out of the government hired quarantine facilities has exposed a big scandal that points to neglect of possible Covid-19 infections as Museveni’s hand-picked team focused on milking people that were taken into quarantine on arrival at Entebbe International Airport nearly a month ago.
Museveni has been on national television touting alleged success over the pandemic, as reported cases appeared to “stabilize” at 53. But information from a hotel in Entebbe reveals that officials have been reporting numbers from the same cohort, exposing the lie that nearly 4000 people have been tested.
Journalist Spire Ssentongo, who is still in confinement nearly four weeks after he was taken into quarantine, exposes a web of profiteers ranging from hotel owners, the Covid-19 task force and security officials. Ssentongo’s revelations come on the back of another scandal in which a government effort to supply relief food to vulnerable groups has run aground. That is after Museveni’s mafia, who lacked the credentials to supply the beans and maize floor needed for the effort, mounted a rear-guard action to grab the US$ 20 million deal from more capable firms.
Using Museveni’s “anti-corruption czar” Lt. Edith Nakalema, the mafia have succeeded in jailing officials from the prime minister’s office who, in sticking to procedure, have now been maligned and sent to jail. Below is Ssentongo’s account verbatim:
“Some of you have been asking me why I’m still in quarantine after 23 days, what happened yesterday when we were supposed to leave! In brief, on 6th April, the second Covid-19 test sample was taken from us. On 7th April, late in the evening, our liaison with Ministry of Health informed us (in our WhatsApp group) that we were all found to be negative. She duly congratulated us and told us to prepare for departure the next day, 8th April.
“There was excitement all over, people could be heard ululating in their rooms. On the 8th, all day we were told that our release certificates were ready, but that they were waiting for test results that were being printed. Around 3pm, MoH (Ministry of Health) officials that came around told us that they were sure we were supposed to leave that day, but were not sure it was going to happen. The day ended in that suspense, the psychological torture that doesn’t count to MoH.
“Later at night, around 10:00pm, we saw an ambulance come in (we hardly sleep here due to anxiety and stress). We saw them evacuating two people from one of the hotel blocks. The couple stayed in one room. We start asking ourselves in the group how it happened that there were positive people yet we had been informed that we were all negative, and congratulated by MoH! This is when one of the MoH officials on the group informs us that there were some samples that ‘arrived late’ at UVRI and had just been tested. That’s where the positive case was found!
“All our samples were taken together by the same people on the same day in one batch. How some ‘arrived late’, we could only wonder. How had they informed us that we were all negative and congratulated us without knowing that some tests were not run, wonders! That’s not enough. After the two were evacuated, the gentleman was later returned to the room. They said only the lady was positive!!
“You hear the wonderful science and strategy? In this endless game plan, my prediction is that they will wait and come back to test the man after they have extended our days. If they find him positive, as is likely, then we shall start afresh again. Are you following the map?
“The lady herself does not match the details of the only positive case that was announced publicly on TV yesterday! It was a case of a lady who arrived from China on 21st March! The one they evacuated from here came in from Turkey on 22nd! You follow poor script?
“On average, room and meals is about 150,000/ here. Multiply that by the 78 people here. That is roughly 11,700,000/ per day to the hotel. Multiply by the days we will have spent here in this infinite scheme. Of the 78, 74 are Ugandans. These are paid for by the taxpayer.
“Need I say more? That’s why now I’m only dancing as MoH chokes on its lies. Once you tell a lie, you do all it takes to save face by sustaining it. That’s what they are doing, hitting one wall after another and wasting more money in these hard times. Even if it means cooking up abacus science, applying bodmas, chi square, and Pythagoras theorem, they will.
“Need I say more? You locked in a weaverbird, it will sing. You won’t sleep either. When this pandemic is finally over and we dig into the underhand things that will have happened behind all this public facade of fighting Covid, the nation will recoil. Meanwhile, I’ve resumed my hunger strike. The promises made to me earlier were violated. This time I’m taking it all the way, no matter what the price. This is no longer about quarantining, it’s a dirty grand scheme!”
Signed Jimmy Spire Ssentongo.