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Masaka LC V Chairperson, COVID19 Taskforce Clash Over Uncoordinated Communication

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Mbabali was accused of crafting own messages about COVID-19 status in the district without which he sends out without authorization of taskforce hence creating unnecessary panic in the community.
Masaka RDC Herman Ssentongo (C) alongside L.CV Chairperson Jude Mbabali and other Taskforce members recieving the Medical Deliveries to Support COVID-19 Response

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An evaluation meeting convened by Masaka District COVID-19 task force on Wednesday ended in bitter exchanges as members vented out their anger against the LC V Chairperson, Jude Mbabali.  The taskforce members had converged at Kijjabwemi Rehabilitation Center in Masaka town to take stock of their response operations against the spread of coronavirus in the area.  

The LC V Chairperson, Jude Mbabali came under fire from members led by Masaka Resident District Commissioner and Task force chairperson, Herman Ssentongo who accused him of frustrating their efforts.  They accused him of sending out messages about the COVID-19 status in the district without authorisation from the task force hence triggering unnecessary panic in the community.  

The meeting also reproduced Mbabali’s social medial post in, which he disputed the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported from Masaka, saying they are more than the official number. On March 30th, Mbabaali announced a total lock down in Masaka district through his social media wage due to what he described as a very big threat of COVID19 because of several confirmed cases.

He claimed that the decision for the total shut down had been arrived at by a District Taskforce comprising medical, technical teams and local security commanders. Ssentongo also accused Mbabali of deliberately avoiding Task force and other coordination meetings but continues to send out messages through various media platforms that shade a wrong picture about the situation and case incidences in the area. 

   

He also noted that despite the district receiving two consignments of medical supplies and sundries from the Health Ministry to manage the situation, Mbabali has continuously faulted government and the Health Ministry of ignoring their pleas.

 

//Cue in: “Chairman wa district….  

Cue out; ….kwongerayo gw’akusatu.”// 

The task force unanimously asked Mbabali to desist from sending out messages before making consultations with the technical persons.  In his response, Jude Mbabali lashed out at the technical teams citing lack of transparency, which raises suspicion.

He also defended his communication, saying it is usually coined with essential public concerns and observation, which the task force could have ignored.   

 

//Cue in: “Nze ensonga yange….     

Cue out; ….nebyo ebirowozeemu.”//     

 

Dr. Stuart Musisi, the Masaka District Health Officer presented to the meeting a consignment of medical supplies comprising gloves, sanitisers, face masks, gumboots and Personal Protective Equipment-PPE for medical staff delivered by the Health Ministry.  

He also revealed that they had received addition support including money from local partners to support the corona virus prevention campaign.