When handling a pandemic trust, solidarity and transparency between the populace and authorities is key. This makes it easy for citizens to follow guidelines. With a disproportionate policy of food supply to the vulnerable that only saves a few homesteads and leaves out the majority, this was not the right time to create havoc by allocating 20M to each MP. There may be other reasons of doing this now other than greed but the reasons are unclear to the starving man in kiryandongo with a family of 6 to feed and struggling to figure out where their next meal will come from.
Africa is far from the worst case scenario and with our poor public health systems, lack of ventilators and no vaccine we live by a slogan Prevention is better than Cure. For now we can only prevent and that means more lockdown. The more days in lockdown, the more uncertainty, stress and starvation. Allocating 20M shs to MPS that recently complained to the speaker that they are trapped in the capital city so they can’t access their constituencies to campaign is baseless and stupendous. It breaks trust among the masses at such a critical time.
Uganda and Africa as a whole are still blessed with fewer cases so far for demographic and geographic reasons like low urbanization and population densities in towns, poor public transport systems like lack of trams, trains and cruise ships that have sparked mass infection in Europe and USA. The air traffic within Africa and Africa to the West is not that massive too. All these factors made containment easy. Time also played a key role the virus took long to breakthrough African boarders. Some people may assert that maybe Africa has fewer cases because of not testing enough but covid-19 is like a pregnancy or falling tree soon or later it makes noise. A falling tree makes more noise than a growing forest. The last factor I can give is the system of governance in Africa. It’s something I call dictatorship masked as democracy. Governments that apply such coercive measures e.g China have proved to have effective lockdown results. In Kenya and some parts of Uganda the authorities have even resorted to brutality to make a point of lockdown hakuna mchezo. All these measures have helped Africa to contain the virus in capital cities and big towns but recent WHO reports indicate the virus appears to be spreading away from capital cities to suburbs mainly in South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana.
Among the severe symptoms of Covid-19 is difficulty in breathing so patients will need access to a machine called a ventilator that gets oxygen into the lungs and removes CO2 from the body so access to this machine is a matter of life and death.
With 21 more days of lockdown and people starving, survival is key. Some legislators in Ghana and Mali have even deducted their monthly salaries to contribute to covid-19 relief funds so dear my MP this was not the right time to get 20M more. For a struggling country like Uganda relying on donations to fight COVID-19 how the hell can we afford 10billion extra funds for MPs?
Project Act Africa proposes 3 responses to this ordeal. Some MPS will reject the money for purely ethical reasons and that’s okay. For reasons and logic that beat my understanding others will take the money but please my MP if you are tempted to take the money at least allocate half of it to buy food for vulnerable people in your constituency that voted for you the government food doesn’t reach everyone so if each MP sacrifices 10M we can cover a bigger ground. We know of the debts and loans suffocating you but people are dying of hunger. Lastly for the MPs that reject the money when addressing your letters to the Speaker tell her to divert that tax payer money into mass production of PPE for medical workers and mass production of ventilators because we are still far from the peak. Otherwise Ug may lose the war when angry and hungry people take to the streets lamenting enough is enough.
Article by: @HenryYiga4 Henry Junior Yiga Facebook: Project Act Africa. twitter @ProjectActAfric YouTube: Project Act Africa