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CORONAVIRUS: Drama At Entebbe Quarantine Centre: Minister Tells German National To Shut Up, Warns: ‘If You Don’t Want To Be Quarantined, Go Back To Your Countries’, Quarantine Fee Cut From $100 To $50…

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Dr Jimmy Spire Ssentongo, one of many Ugandans being detained at Central Inn Entebbe has narrated the drama at the country’s quarantine centre for Coronavirus.

Central Inn in Entebbe is a place where most Ugandans from abroad are quarantined for 14 days.

During his address on Wednesday, President Museveni said that any person who comes into the country via Entebbe is suppossed to be quarantined at Central Inn and they are supposed to pay 100 dollars for the services. He warned that those who don’t want to be quarantined should  back to their countries.

Below is Dr Jimmy Spire Ssentongo’s narration of what is happening:

“The point in quarantining people is to control the spreading of disease. Thus far, many of us are in support of the measure. But I only support it to the extent that it can be effective.

What we are subjected to here is hostage, not quarantine. No health officer has stepped here since yesterday to see what is happening. It is hotel staff in charge, and they barely have knowledge on how to safely conduct themselves in the circumstances. They are mixing with us, many without proper protection or precaution. They are handling money and other stuff from us with bare hands and minimal use of sanitizers. Of course, their work is to extract as much foreign currency from us as they can.

They are walking in and out of the hotel gate. They all seem confused about what’s going on. One has confided in us that there was a group of Chinese here earlier that they did not know how to handle and were scared of. Talking to some of them the impression you get is that much of the knowledge they have about the disease is either at the surface or mythical. Literally, we are dumped here.

This can easily become a breeding center from which the virus could spread to the outside through workers. And all of us here are at high risk of being infected. I understand that adherence to self-quarantine may be difficult. It requires high discipline. But I’m convinced I would be safer self-isolating in a room at home than at this potential mortuary. All we have here is a good example on how not to quarantine.

At the smell of money, anything can become a commodity in this country! So we are basically here as food to some heartless vampire that saw a business opportunity in the disease. If hell has a kiln, the gluttons behind this should be the firewood.

Some have advised me that if I keep talking about this I might stay here longer and put myself at other risks. I wish I cared about that more than the potential national disaster the conditions here posed. This is not only about me and those of us in here.

An impression is given by some people that we in here are resisting being quarantined, and that all our concerns zero on that. I have read statements like: ‘if they don’t want to be quarantined, let them go back to their countries’; ‘they want to come out and infect us’… This is not true at all. I understand that in times of crises like this pandemic, there tends to be a crazy mixture of truths, untruths, and myths. There may be no time for scrutiny of what we hear.

First, if I wanted to get out of here, I would be out on the first day and I have received suggestions for such help. Some people have left this place, that’s no secret now. Some used their connections at the airport, some could have bribed. Many of us raised it to the government officials that we met last evening that we are not here because we have failed to get out. We have medical doctors, professors, nurses, priests, lawyers, students, etc in here. It’s not that they couldn’t mobilise a $50 bribe, even if they may be financially constrained in the circumstances.

Our major concern was with the gross mismanagement of the quarantine exercise, which partly justifies the escapes. When you mismanage such a measure and make people feel like they must escape to protect their own lives or run from an injustice, you put society at risk. We’ve heard of cases of people escaping from Ebola camps in DRC. Quarantine shouldn’t be made to feel like a punishment. And, if people can’t afford, they should be helped by the state in order to avoid worse case scenarios.

If you can find huge funds to throw to political supporters and buy posh cars to lure musicians, how can you say you can’t help a small group of people that was trapped by a good policy that was passed while they were on their way! Even when abandoning them puts society at risk? If one can’t afford and you force them into quarantine, you are providing incentive to escape and thereby putting all to danger.

Actually, even if they can afford, it is in the interest of the country to pay for them in order not to risk anything. While here, one is not working, and then you add another ABRUPT financial load on them! At least those who travelled after the president’s directive had information to help them prepare. Why does the state spend on the accommodation and meals of incarcerated criminals yet find no reason in intervening here!

The minister and her PS came here with a visible bias, plus their own understandable stress of course. I think they had been heavily misinformed about the concerns of the ‘quarantined’ group. Their opening remarks emphasised in strong words that we must be here for 14 days whether we like it or not. This was none of our concerns! And, even if under normal circumstances one would understand their stress, the last thing you do is to scream at an already traumatized people. I advise, that on account of the heavy load on them currently, Dr Ruth Aceng and Dr Diana Atwine should get regular counseling. Not doing so is a risk to their own health and the entire health system.

We had been herded at high infection risk and dumped here. No safety information or measures at all. No health officer came to follow up on us until we made online noise and officials came to apologize and make promises. No one was concerned that people were leaving! How would they know anyway since they never cared to follow up! It’s not on such a group of people that you try to show might by parading soldiers around and saying ‘shut up’ when interrupted.

The conditions here did not meet the most basic standards of quarantine and were totally contrary to its goals. Neither the ‘quarantined’ nor the said protected wider society was safe. We laughed when, on the second day, an officer meeting us said we were seated too close to each other and should observe some distance.Maybe he didn’t know that we came in here packed in a coster seated shoulder to shoulder and that he was even the first to mention a safety tip to the group ever since we arrived at Entebbe.

They still insist that the state won’t pay for the accommodation and meals, even after some people literally broke down in tears explaining the circumstances of their return to Uganda. Some people have insensitively asked why we chose to travel at this time! Well, one student explained to the minister that she was given hours to leave the country where she was before more borders were closed. No one wants to get trapped with a helpless foreigner when they are also unsure of their own safety. Many of these countries and host institutions have been so good to foreigners and tried to help them travel back to their countries as fast as they could. Some of these are struggling students on scholarship. We have a wrong impression that everyone who travels to Europe is well off and they do so by their own means. Hence the insensitive comments and expectation that, even if some of these people are returning abruptly, they must be having money on them!

Some of the foreigners here started their journeys with the official information of self quarantining. They had made appropriate arrangements and booked places for that. But because the directive changed while they were on their way, they were brought here. There is no problem with Uganda passing new directives for the safety its citizens, but there should be understanding where this raises very difficult circumstances for innocent people. A British lady also broke down and cried explaining what she has gone through as a result of these changes and why she needed an ear. Not all these people are well off as we assume, neither are they adamant and disrespectful. Good enough their embassies are now coming in to help them.

It is the case that in the circumstances everyone is thinking about their own safety and survival, but we can still be human while at that.

The meeting with the two officials was cordial and considerate. Some concessions had been made where food was to be free and rent to be discussed further with their bosses. But agreement had been made that rooms were to be immediately provided to each of those that hadn’t checked in.

Later on, the minister of Health, Ruth Aceng, and Permanent Secretary, Diana Atwine, show up and a meeting is quickly convened. They came along with over 10 soldiers that stood in front and in the sides. I couldn’t tell if this was their security detail or just the day’s accompaniment for a point. The minister and PS came with a rather condescending attitude, especially the minister. At some point she yelled at an old German man who interrupted her, telling him to ‘shut up’.

It was my first time listening to her, but I had her being praised lately as the best minister. Of this I don’t know, but she came across as a hard working lady of good character. But on this occasion, she came across is rather arrogant and condescending. Well, they resolved that we shall have to pay $55 full board. How the price came from $100, to $60, (no lunch, no supper), to now $55 full board is interesting.

The options given were two: One either books in at this hotel or can be checked into a school dormitory for full isolation! Arguments by some returning students that they had no money at all were met with a suggestion to quarantine them in a school dormitory!”

We will keep you posted…

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You Can Quarrel But You Should Never Fight – Muhoozi Advises His Father Museveni And Kagame…

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President Museveni’s son Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba who also doubles as his senior adviser on Special Operations has given him advice never to fight with his former bush war colleague, Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

In a post on his twitter page, Muhoozi told his boss that, “Brothers/Comrades and Revolutionaries can quarrel but they should never fight. We have come from very far. I wish His Excellency General Kagame and the people of Rwanda a solemn and respectful kwibuka.”

Muhoozi was wishing Rwandan president Paul Kagame and the people of Rwanda a respectful Kwibuka. Kwibuka means ‘to remember’ and describes the annual commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

This year marks the 26th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Kwibuka26 provides an important opportunity to Remember and honour the over one million victims of the genocide, preserve its evidence and educate Rwandans about its history as well as the lessons that Rwanda has learned.

 

By Temuseewo Mpoza

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Lt. Col. Nakalema Directs Arrest of Asian Tycoon Abid Alam Over Rape, Torture Allegation In Mubende…

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The State House Anti- corruption unit boss Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema has directed the Uganda Police Force to summon Indian Investor Abid Alam to Kasanda police station to record a statement on allegations of torture and rape.

According to credible sources at the Anti-corruption unit, Nakalema today morning talked to Maj. General Sabiiti Muzeeyi and asked him to intervene and assist a one Arthur Mugyenyi who accuses Alam’s workers of torturing his family members and raping his wife in presence of their children.

Sources further revealed that Mugyenyi with the help of their area Member of Parliament Simeo Nsubuga petitioned Nakalema’s anti-corruption unit claiming that they were not helped by the area police when Alam’s goons terrorised them. Last week, Nsubuga said that Alam sent 60 workers to Mugyenyi’s home with machetes and threatened to kill Mugyenyi and his family members.

He said Alam’s workers also cut down Mugyenyi’s banana plantation, destroyed his two houses, and took his 200 cows and 500 goats in a bid to evict him from his land.

Efforts to speak to Alam were futile since his known phone numbers were off.

 

By Sengooba Alirabaki

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VIDEO: Please Government Get Us Out Of China: We Are Being Tortured, Discriminated And Chased From Houses Already Four Of Our Colleagues Are Dead – Ugandans In China Cry Out….

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Ugandans and Africans who have been plying their trade in China have cried to their governments to get them out of China.

According to a video from one of the Ugandans who is locked down in china, that was shared by Kampala Central legislator Mohammad Nsereko, they are being ejected from houses, denied access to health care and ejected from public transport and already 4 of their colleagues have died under unclear circumstances.

“The Chinese are discriminating us, when we enter their busses they all run out of the bus. These people are showing us their true colours, we are asking government to help. The Chinese should allow us to go home instead of forcefully arresting us and testing us,” he said.

He added, “We are being tortured, i call upon government to help us leave this country. Already four of our colleagues are dead. Let them allow us to go home. The landlords are chasing us from their houses and asking for a lot of money in rent yet we are not working. Everywhere we go we are being chased, we are now in hiding.”

Nsereko called upon government to immediately intervene and stop this alleged discrimination and inhuman treatment.

“I have received disturbing reports and videos of Ugandans and Africans in China being treated in a degrading manner. I have been informed that some have been ejected from houses, others denied access to health care and ejected from public transport. This is very unfortunate; we call upon the Ugandan government to intervene immediately in this matter.”

 

By Temuseewo Mpoza

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