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Police bans distribution of Covid Relief food to vulnerable groups

Police Spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga (File Photo)

KAMPALA: Uganda Police in a joint effort with other security agencies have issued a ban on the distribution of food to vulnerable people during the lockdown saying this contravenes with the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SoPs) and quality of handouts.

While addressing journalists yesterday, Fred Enanga the police spokesperson said such unregulated acts are likely to lead to the spread of coronavirus.

“In some incidents, we have seen a lack of social distancing. This will lead to the spread of coronavirus. All people distributing food to vulnerable people should stop. They should take the food to the district coordinators for proper distribution of food,” said Enanga.

The ban comes days after several opposition MPs especially from the National Unity Platform (NUP) had started distributing food to vulnerable groups in different parts of the country.

Last year, President Museveni banned private distribution of food to vulnerable people describing it as cheap popularity.

Police raided homes of Opposition politicians, where they seized food and also arrested suspects, including Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake.

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Residents of Mityana Municipality receive food items courtesy of their area MP, Francis Zaake over the weekend. PHOTO | COURTESY

Mr Enanga said they are worried that the food distributed could be contaminated with poisonous substances such as aflatoxins and others.

He said if the food is taken to the coordination centres, government experts would be able to test it for quality before it is distributed.

Kawempe South MP Muhammed Ssegirinya, who has been distributing food to his constituents, said he will not stop, adding that he can’t look on as people in his community die of hunger.

“I do door-to-door distribution. I just write my name and go away. I follow all standard operating procedures against the spread of coronavirus. How will I spread the virus in that manner?” Mr. Ssegirinya said.

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He said he will not give the food to the government because he tested them in last year’s lockdown by offering them his salary for two months, but the money was stolen.

“It is the government officials who should first give us the accountability of the food we gave them last year. We don’t know how the food was distributed. They also told us that some of the food that they procured was rotten. How can you trust us people?” he said.

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