The President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has attributed the over 3000 COVID-19 deaths to National Unity Platform President, Robert (NUP) Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine.
He made the allegation in a post on X, formerly Twitter, a social media platform, while replying to a user who claimed suspension of Bobi Wine’s rallies on grounds of threat of terrorist bombs is unfair yet concerts are being held.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, 13 September 2023, the Deputy IGP Maj Gen Tumusiime Kasigazi said they will not look on as the “country burns” due to NUP’s violent rallies that have at times led to loss of lives while at the same time promoting sectarianism.
“While we completely support the right of individuals, groups and other citizens to peacefully gather or assemble, and make their views on matters of public policy, we have noticed that, in all areas where the NUP mobilization activities have been carried out, there have been total breaches to the guidelines, thus causing public disorder, unnecessary traffic jams, loss of business, malicious damage to property,” the statement by the Deputy IGP reads in part.
Now justifying the suspension, Museveni said it is an issue of discipline. “The concerts are prepared, the areas cordoned off, people entering the venue go through checks, etc,” he noted.
He added that, “Bobi Wine’s conduct is irresponsible, just like they increased coronavirus infection through the same recklessness. That is how we lost 3,291 people. Before those reckless rallies, we had lost only about 300 people.”
This post attracted attention with commentators saying this was rather an excuse.
“Mzee, so will he be accepted to go ahead if he condones off the areas he is to rally from and provide security check ups before entry?” Fomer Busiro MP Aspirant Paul Owori questioned.
Another X user commented that. “You’re seriously blaming COVID-19 deaths on BoBiWine? You forget that your own Minister of Health Aceng conducted public gathering campaigns.”
It should be noted that in Uganda, the initial wave of COVID-19 saw cases surging in August 2020, with a minor increase observed in September, followed by the highest peak in December 2020.
Subsequently, the second wave, occurring in 2021, reached its zenith in June, while the onset of the third wave began to crest in December 2021.
During these waves, experts noted that the strain on healthcare systems resulting from the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases might have played a role in elevating overall mortality rates.
This increase could be attributed to a lack of timely and adequate care for other health conditions at healthcare facilities, which were grappling with the surge in COVID-19 patients.