President Yoweri Museveni has threatened to run Daily Monitor newspaper bankrupt over a recent story indicating that his inner circle had received jabs of China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine months ahead of health workers and other vulnerable groups.
The Daily Monitor reported the story on 23rd February basing on an American newspaper- the Wall Street Journal which said that Museveni’s inner circle were offered vaccines from China state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm and that this move by China to promote its vaccines had also been reported in Peru and the Philippines.
Museveni made the statement at State House during the commemoration of the International Women’s Day 2021. The national celebration was under the theme; Building on Women’s Strength for a Better Future in the Covid-19 World.
The President’s statement followed an update on the country’s fight against Covid-19 where he said that Uganda was making progress.
“We are moving well, we think we are about to get out of this crisis of corona because I see things are moving well from whichever side,” he said.
Museveni said that coronavirus seems to be going down, also noting that government was working on having in place a Ugandan made vaccine.
“We don’t want to depend on others, it took us a little bit of time because when we were looking for things to use, they said…you Africans what are you looking the vaccine for.. you wait we shall get it and send you, Africans don’t look for vaccines, that’s what we were told,” Museveni reported.
He however told the gathering that Uganda currently has everything needed and that it is in the process of making its vaccines on top of those that the country has bought to vaccinate the at-risk workers.
Speaking about the decreasing Covid-19 cases in the country, President Museveni attributed the development to good analysis, taking time to understand the characteristics of the disease and the ability by majority of Ugandans to listen to advise by health workers.
There is a significant decrease in the reported positive cases of Covid-19 and also absence of patients receiving care at COVID-19 wards. However, health experts have warned that the reduction in COVID-19 cases is a sign that the country has completed its first wave and that a second might be on the way. They say this should not be taken as a sign that all is well.
Meanwhile, the President blamed violence in homesteads on poverty. According to a Uganda Police Report, a total of 16,242 cases of Gender Based Violence-GBV were reported between January and June 2020.
“The family is not earning, those people are fighting over poverty, they are not earning,” he said. “Not long ago, the 2014 Census said that 68 percent of homesteads are working for the stomach,” he said.
According to Museveni, there is need to ensure that people earn a comfortable living and that this is the only way calls for respect of different rights will yield.
He said that social economic transformation should be key if Ugandan women are to transform totally. According to Museveni, everybody should be engaged in four sectors of the economy that the government is focusing on which are commercial agriculture, small factories (Industry), services or Information Communication and Technology –ICT.