What Next? 227 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, President Museveni Set to Give Updates Tomorrow at 8pm.

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With rising number of COVID-19 cases, President Yoweri Museveni is yet to assure the nation tomorrow Monday on planned action to contain the spread of the virus and next cause of action.

This was annoumed by, Lindah Nabusayi, Press Secretary to the President confirmed this evening.

When President Museveni last addressed the nation, the confirmed cases were less than 100, but are now at 227 with the cumulative number of foreign truck drivers who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Uganda at a record 125.

He is expected to explain two key measures, the testing of drivers before they return, and return of Ugandans from abroad.

Early in the week, news broke that some Ugandans had been given permission to return, this despite the President clearly stating Uganda’s borders had been closed to passenger traffic.

Gun Violence: 13-year-Old Boy Shot DEAD by Stray Bullet In Abim District.

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Courtesy Photo

Police in Abim district are investigating circumstances under which a 13 year old boy was shot dead this week by a stray bullet as police officers enforced directives to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The deceased is a one Calvin Omugeatum, a resident of Bartanga East village Orwamuge sub-county, Abim District, also a pupil from Orwamuge primary school.

This was after one of the officers on duty at the time of the incident fired warning shots to disperse a rowdy group of over 20 people who had turned chaotic when police disrupted their merrymaking.

The stray bullet hit the boy who was at a one Alfred Obonyo’s residence where the crowd had gathered to party.

According to police publicist Fred Enanga, a postmortem was done and inquiries into the matter are ongoing.

Joint Medical Store Converts Standard Chartered Bank’s US$1 billion Facility Financial Programme to Help Tackle COVID-19

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Standard Chartered today announced that Joint Medical Store, the Ugandan not-for-profit organisation, has become the first client to make a drawdown under the Bank’s US$1 billion financing commitment to help companies tackling Covid-19.

JMS’ drawdown for US$2.2m on a loan facility will help them provide healthcare facilities and supply masks, sanitisers and medicines in Uganda. The private NGO, which was established in 1979, is also licensed by the National Drug Authority to engage in the import, export and wholesale of medicines and related health supplies. 

Standard Chartered launched the programme on March 30 to provide financing on a not-for-profit basis to companies making products and services that help the front line fight the virus and its impacts. The bank has received a strong response from clients around the world and there are a number of disbursals nearing fruition. 

Simon Cooper, CEO of Corporate & Institutional Banking at Standard Chartered, said, “Our priority is to help get much-needed products and services to the front line and we’re extremely proud to start rolling out the financing on this programme with Joint Medical Store. Africa is a very important part of our Group strategy and I’m particularly pleased that we’re able to use our network there to make an impact in the fight against Covid-19.”

Sunil Kaushal, CEO, Africa & Middle East at Standard Chartered also said that the deal signified the collaborative approach the Bank is taking with its clients in Africa and the Middle East to fight Covid-19. “We are committed to playing our part in the fight against Covid-19 and working with our clients who are focusing their business operations to tackle the virus. With many markets facing unprecedent challenges in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, and as an international bank deeply rooted on the continent and an unsurpassed network business, it is important that we connect financing to where it is needed most during these uncertain times.”

Dr. Bildard Baguma, Executive Director, Joint Medical Store said, “We have been supplying the Government of Uganda, NGOs, and the private sector with medical supplies for over 40 years in Uganda, however the Covid- 19 pandemic has increased the urgency for provision for medical supplies in the country. With the USD2.2m facility provided by Standard Chartered, it will enable us to respond to this urgent need to provide the front-line Health workers with high quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which is integral in maintaining health and safety during the pandemic. We will also be providing critical care equipment to hospitals (ICUs).”

Dr. Baguma also said the rates provided by Standard Chartered will help the company pass on lower costs of the PPE and critical care equipment to their clients. “Covid -19 has disrupted and stressed the supply chain and our suppliers cannot keep the previously long-term credit arrangements and meet our increased demand. The facility will go a long way in enabling us to meet the high and urgent demand for PPE,” he concluded.

Managing Anxiety, Depression and Staying Productive During the COVID-19 Lockdown.

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Harriet Namusoke dfcu Head Human Capital

Since the government declared a total lockdown as a measure to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, many people have been grappling with working from home as it comes with several challenges. Previously, you would wake up in the morning and look forward to going to your workplace, but now you find yourself having to work from your house.

On top of worrying about how soon the confinement will end, you also have to put up with the struggle to be productive at your job, meeting family responsibilities and the safety of your close ones. The pressure that comes with trying to keep up with all this can be quite overwhelming.

For most people, working from home is unchartered territory. Despite the challenges accrued to working from home, you also have to realize that working from home is a great privilege that not so many get to enjoy given the current economic situation.

There is no doubt that there are so many distractions whilst at home; from interruptions from kids fighting for your attention, your game console right in front of you, your beckoning TV show or the temptation to just laze around the house and social media.

All these can eat so much into your productivity and have a huge impact on your mental health if not monitored. You might not have everything figured out at all times but you must observe the things that take up your energy.

Here are a few tips to help you stay productive whilst maintaining your sanity.

Prioritize your mental health: The National Institute of Mental Health has a mantra, ‘No health without mental health’. Your productivity and disposition are all dependent on the state of your mind. Our mental health comprises of our psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. It greatly impacts how we feel, think and behave each day. It also contributes to our decision-making process and how we cope with stress. Positive mental stress will help you become more productive and help you cope with daily stresses.

You can protect your mental wellbeing by maintaining a consistent sleep routine. It can be quite tempting to stay up late into the night and staying in bed longer. We are often told about the dangers of little sleep, but on the other side of the coin, oversleeping can dampen your cognitive function. The recommended sleep time is 8-9hours a night.

You should also exercise at least for 1 hour every day; the merits are endless. Exercise will help regulate your stress levels, increase your productivity, regulate your sleep and better still your emotions. 

Maintain Human connections: with everyone confined in their homes, there is little or no room for socialisation. Nonetheless, it’s critical to keep in touch with your close ones, colleagues and social networks. With Social distancing, people are spending more time online.

You can take advantage of virtual forums to interact with others to bridge & lessen the feeling of loneliness. You’ve got to remember that we are social animals and partly explains the reason why we go to work to socialise with others. If you ignore that feeling during this pandemic, it can easily impact on your mental health and other areas.

Outline your Deliverables: You need to structure your day as you would at work on a normal day. Clearly outline your deliverables for the day and exercise self-restraint and discipline to accomplish your set out to-do-list. This will help create structure and routine making the quarantine period tolerable.

It is essential to set up an exclusive workspace where you can concentrate and feel comfortable. Avoid places where you usually relax. Also set boundaries around your work hours, for instance; you could decide to start work from 9am to 5pm with intermittent breaks in-between. At the set time, set the work aside and engage in other activities.

Disconnect: Avoid obsessing over the endless coverage of coronavirus. It’s important to stay in the know, but you have to be conscious of how much time you spend online and what you are consuming. It’s important to unplug from the internet once in a while and clear your mind.

We must wake up, dress up and show up!

This pandemic has shown how critical it is to embrace our humanity, be understanding and caring. We need to make sure that the “Human” in Human Resources is prioritized.

Contributed by: Harriet Nabakooza Musoke, Head Human Capital dfcu Bank

UCC and Africell Donates Three Brand New Vehicles and Assortment of Food in Battle Against COVID-19.

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Ziad Daoud, the Chief executive officer Africell Uganda hands over car keys to Dr. Atwine

Africell Uganda and Uganda communications commission have donated three brand new motor vehicles to the Ministry of Health in a campaign to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

The brand new Tata Xenon single cabin pickup trucks were handed over to Dr Dianah Atwine, the permanent secretary Ministry of Health by Ziad Daoud, the Chief executive officer Africell Uganda.

According to Diana Atwine, the vehicles will strengthen the ministries position and response to emergencies.

Mr. Ziad Daoud, also passed a donation assorted food items including 1-ton of Posho, Rice and Soya Beans to the Ministry.

Due to the increasing cases of community infections, Uganda extended the current lockdown by another 14 days. Uganda currently has 98 cases of COVID-19.

Moments on the Lens.

Minister Oryem Wants Karamajong Cattle Rustlers Shot Dead

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Courtesy Photo / PMLDAILY

#URN: Henry Okello Oryem, the Foreign Affairs State Minister and Chua East County Member of parliament wants the army to kill suspected Karimojong cattle rustlers who make incursions into his constituency to steal livestock.

According Oryem,  there shouldn’t be any excuse for shooting the people who are complicating life for his electorate.

This stems from a wave of livestock thefts in Chua East County in Kitgum district which Oryem says is a threat to the peace and livelihood of his voters who are being impoverished since they rely on livestock for survival through ploughing their gardens.

Suspected Karimajong cattle rustlers have severally invaded several villages in Orom and Namukora sub counties in Kitgum district over the past one month and made off with unspecified number of animals.

The Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, William Komakech had initially told our reporter that they are investigating claims that Local Defense Unit deserters in Karamoja could be behind the new wave of cattle thefts.

He however says they have stepped up deployment of military personnel in hotspots along the border with Karamoja sub region in a bid to avert any further incursion by the suspected cattle rustlers.

According to Komakech, a resident of Orom sub county succumbed to injuries he sustained in an attack by suspected cattle rustlers last week.

He also revealed that soldiers killed two cattle rustlers adding that they are now investigating and profiling suspected collaborators who are colluding with the rustlers.

Barbara Allimadi is DEAD.

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Barbra Allimadi

Milton Allimadi has confirmed the death of her sister Barbra Allimadi in a post saying….Family and friends, It is with a very heavy heart that we announce the sudden passing of our sister Barbara Allimadi.

Barbara was a much loved sister, aunt and cousin. She was also an activist, a champion of justice and democracy in Uganda who will be will be greatly missed.

“The family ask that the public respect our privacy as we mourn our beloved sister and the family will provide more information in the near future” read a note from Milton.

Who is Barbara Allimadi

Famed for the famous bra protest – Barbra is one of the 17 children born to the late Otema Allimadi, a former prime minister of Uganda during the Obote II regime between 1980 and 1985, Allimadi attended Nakasero Primary School before joining Gayaza High School for one year prior to her family’s exile to the United Kingdom following the 1985 coup that ousted Dr Milton Obote. Until her return to Uganda, she worked as a network engineer in the UK. In 2007, she returned for her mother’s funeral, and eventually decided to stay. Full story Loading.

Agago District Police Commander Arrested for Defying Presidential Directives. Activist Want Him Tried Too for Reckless Shooting of a Deaf/Mute Boy’s.

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Samson Lubega

Agago District Police Commander, Samson Lubega has been arrest for allegedly defying presidential directives.

Lubega now locked behind bars at Gulu central police station is accused for authorizing a gathering of about 30 people at the home of Mr. Francis Onek a business man from Patongo town council in Agago district.

According to Jimmy Patrick Okema, police Publicist, Aswa region, the said business man had just returned from broad through Dubai and arrived in Ugandan on 17th March 2020.

As a routine, he has been asked to undergo self-quarantined but varnished only to reappear in the vicinity as the party took its course on Sunday.

“He Mr. Oneka appeared and presented medical certificate from China friendship Hospital Naguru with negative results thus the call for a party”

The DPC got caught up in the racket first of issued permission for the gathering and secondly gracing the occasion.

“Yes we arrested him for defying presidential directives on curbing the spread of COVID-19, a team of officers from Police and fourth division have been sent on ground for fact finding mission” Okema said.

Linos Ngompek, the Resident District Commissioner simply confirmed his arrest saying “The DPC went against the directives put in place to curb the spread of COVID_19”.

However, the arrest of Lubega has come with a wave of debate to have him also tried for down playing an investigation into the shooting of a 25-year-old deaf and mute youth by LDUs. Leading to his leg being amputated.

“We demand for fresh Investigation into the shooting of Oloya Willis whose leg has now been amputated after it was completely shattered with over 20 bullets. Police has all the cartridges and Lubega has been at it since he is in custody the force can now take due diligence and render justice for Oloya” Said, Olanya Tonny, a Human Rights / Civic Activists based in Gulu.

Who further stressed that, Mr.Lubega has been playing hide and seek but should be brought to book certainly for all the crimes and Illegalities he has been involved in.

DP Donates Food to COVID-19 National Task Force.

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The Democratic Party has today donated 5 tons of maize flour to the COVID-19 National Task Force. The donation was received by the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the Office of the Prime Minister. 

The donation purchased from party funds was delivered by a delegation of party officials led by the party President Norbert Mao accompanied by the Vice President, the National Chairman, the Secretary General, the Bukomansimbi South MP, Mukono Municipality Mayor, and the former DP candidate for Busiro South Steven Sekigozi. 


In his remarks Mao stated that DP leaders are making contributions of food to District COVID-19 Taskforces and also directly to needy communities through community organizations. He appealed to the government to address hunger in the whole country not just greater KAMPALA and Wakiso.

He observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has united the country because it is a common threat which knows no partisan differences, ethnicity or creed. 

In his response, the Prime Minister thanked DP and underscored the need for a united front against the pandemic. He said that all parties represented on the COVID-19 National Task Force and all with ideas to help fight the pandemic can channel them through those representatives.

The Plight and Situation of Persons with Disabilities During COVID-19 Response, – NUDIPU Speaks Out.

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PRESS RELEASE: National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) in conjunction with Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD) have called for a press conference to shade light on the plight and the situation of persons with disabilities in Uganda during the COVID 19 response.

Currently, 16.5 percent of the total population of Uganda are Persons with Disabilities according to Uganda Functional Difficulties Survey report, 2016.

This vulnerable section of the population may continue to suffer disproportionately in the COVID-19 response if they are not prioritized in the response efforts. As a result of the pandemic, government came up with standard operating procedures to combat and mitigated risks associated with COVID-19. 

We would like to commend efforts led by His Excellency Y.K Museveni by issuing directives aimed at curtailing the pandemic and the achievements so far registered. As Persons with Disabilities in Uganda, we join the rest of stakeholders in the fight against COVID-19 and we call upon all persons with disabilities in Uganda to abide by the guidelines in the move to minimize the risks associated with COVID-19.

On Friday, 17th April 2020, we received disturbing news of Mr. Oloya Willis, a deaf person and a resident of Mugila West village, Adilang sub-county, Agago District. Oloya was shot by the security personnel during the curfew at around 9:30PM on 16/04/2020 because they were not able to understand what he was communicating and no due diligence was given to him.

At worst he would have been detained and seek services of sign language interpreter to explain to him the directives and guidelines and the dangers of COVID 19. There are many more of Oloyas in the communities who are deaf and have not received the COVID-19 messages.  

It is now crystal clear that Oloya has got physical disability on top of him being deaf person. This is not in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) article 11, which calls on state parties in accordance with their obligations under the international law, including humanitarian law and international human rights law to ensure that there are necessary measures in place to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk. 

We fear that the situation at hand is likely to escalate for the most vulnerable. Another case at hand is the story of Ian Mark Mukisa a person with mental illness who lives with his parents in Bulindo-Wakiso district that was broadcast by NTV on 9th April 2020.

Mark who was on treatment suffered under the hands of a security personnel who caned him and was later found at the police station by his mother.

Also there is a concern that children with disabilities who are on treatment are finding it hard to reach hospitals for management. This is pronounced especially among spinal bifida and hydrocephalus children.

Besides, we have noted with concern that many press briefs and updates on COVID-19 are being done without the help of the sign language interpreters. Consequently, Persons with Disabilities in Uganda especially those with hearing impairments (deaf, deaf blind and hard of hearing persons) are missing out on the various preventive measures and updates on radios and televisions.

For example, The Ministry of Health briefing on Saturday, 18th April 2020 did not have a sign language interpreter which is discriminatory and against the right to access information. All these have occurred because of lack of participation of leaders of Persons with disabilities and there representative organizations in the COVID 19 response. 

The National and District COVID-19 Task Forces lack direct engagement with NUDIPU, an umbrella organization for Persons with Disabilities in Uganda.  

Also the current food distribution mechanism is insufficient to allow access to food especially by those with severe disabilities such as these with Cerebral palsy, Deafblind and the mentally impaired.

There is no representative of persons with disabilities on the corona food distribution teams to guide and provide expert opinion on disability issues. 

Therefore lack of systematic disability inclusion in COVID-19 response will greatly undermine the effective eradication and control of the virus in Uganda.

We therefore call for; 

1. Government to consider representation of persons with disabilities on National and district COVID-19 task forces to give guidance and expert opinion on issues pertaining to disability  and persons with disabilities

2. Government to consult with NUDIPU and DPOs on issues pertaining to persons with disabilities in COVID-19 response.

3. All presidential and ministry briefings on COVID-19 to have sign language interpreters. This is in line with the UCC broadcasting guidelines.

4. Government to ensure all security briefing and reports take into consideration disability issues and perspectives. 

5. Government to put in places necessary measures to protect persons with disabilities such as those with hearing impairments, mentally ill who are in situations of risk especially during the curfew times. 

6. Government to ensure that justice is given to Mr. Oloya Willis and Mr. Ian Mark Mukisa and appropriate remedies given to them including meeting medical costs.

7. Government to set up clear guidelines through Ministry of Health to ensure that persons with disabilities on treatment such as those with epilepsy, mental illness, children with spinal bifida and hydrocephalous access regular and immediate treatment unfettered. 

8. Government to develop standard operating procedure/ circular on how to manage and respond to disability concerns under COVID-19 response.

9. Government to ensure that food distribution reaches the vulnerable persons with disabilities by collaborating with leaders of persons with disabilities in the community.