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ULGA Responds to Alleged Misuse of COVID-19 Vehicles

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In a rejoinder to Achieng’s letter, ULGA President, Richard Rwabuhinga, says that had the government provided local government leaders with vehicles as promised earlier, the misuse would have been probably minimized.
Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.
The Uganda Local Government Association- ULGA President, Richard Rwabuhinga has responded to an outcry from the Health Minister on the alleged misuse of vehicles meant to facilitate surveillance and COVID-19 vaccination activities in the country.

In October, President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta flagged off the distribution of 282 double cabin vehicles to support COVID-19 response across the country. However, on December 20th, 2021, the Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng authored a letter, in which she accused politicians and technical staff in the districts of misusing the vehicles.

“… it has come to our attention that the vehicles are being used by the political and technical leaders rather than the health workers for the intended purpose. Some of you have even gone ahead to rub off the writings on these vehicles. This is malpractice and misconduct of the highest order, and it is unacceptable”, the letter reads in part.

Dr. Aceng, who gave an ultimatum of December 27, 2021, for the vehicles to be returned to serve the intended purpose, warned of dire consequences, in case the leaders fail to adhere to her call. She reiterated the call at a press conference in Kampala on Thursday.   In a rejoinder to Achieng’s letter, ULGA President, Richard Rwabuhinga, says that had the government provided local government leaders with vehicles as promised earlier, the misuse would have been probably minimized.

“It is also true that had the government paid due attention and acted on the overdue request, the current experiences and for which there are scattered incidences of abuse would be avoided”, he said in his letter dated December 23, 2021. Rwabuhinga, who doubles as Kabarole LC V Chairperson also faulted the minister for the sweeping statements on the alleged misuse of COVID-9 vehicles.  

“As Local Governments, we are committed to the efficient utilization of resources available to us and request therefore that an incident or two should not be used to derogate the entire Local Government leadership as seems to be the trend lately! We note an increase in this attitude from ministries, departments, and agencies and condemn this approach in equal measure”, Rwabuhinga adds in his letter.

Last week, the Kumi district councilors gave the LC V Chairperson, Nelson Elungat, a five-day ultimatum to return the COVID-19 vehicle registration number, UG 7011M that he took from a health facility. It took Elungat just a day to return the vehicle, which was attached to Atutur General Hospital.  He is back to the old vehicle used by his predecessor, Christine Apolot.