A team of activists under their Human Rights Defenders Union umbrella have urged Dr. Diana Atwiine, the permanent secretary to the Minstry of Health to step down in light of her alleged mishandling of the covid crisis.

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MoH resorts to intimidation as Ugandans push for accountability for missing Covid funds

The activists who on Monday held a press briefing at Katonga road in Kampala raised a chain of questions about the misallocation of over UGX 29 billion shillings that was donated to the taskforce. Ms. Annette Namata alias Nana Mwafrika Mbarikiwa who led the human rights group says they are nauseated by how the Ministry of Health has persistently failed to come out to account for the money given to them by the preceding parliament.

“Current events show clearly that this government learnt nothing from the first lockdown in 2020 where a number of Ugandans lost lives, livelihoods, jobs, hope and confidence in the future,” Nana said in a statement. “Ill equipped hospitals have resulted in preventable suffering and death, while the vast majority of trillions of shillings borrowed or donated or budgeted for COVID-19 response management cannot be accounted for yet Uganda has borrowed $1 billion more from the IMF for the emergency covid response. As activists, our pleas to the IMF that these funds do not benefit Ugandans fell on deaf ears,” she adds.

Activists hold placards protesting Dr. Atwiine alleged mishandling of covid funds while at their presser on Monday

Conclusively the activists demand that the MoH, National taskforce and other relevant authorities account for all the borowed funds, donations and budgets for the management of the pandemic.

Contacted for a comment, the spokesperson for the MoH rubbished the accusations as ‘baseless’ and tasked thw activists to go to a competent anti-corruption court and lodge their complaints.

“They should provide proof/evidence of mishandling COVID-19 funds and submit to competent anti-corruption authority as opposed to making baseless claims in the media. Let them also find more details on how funds were spent in the auditor general’s report,” Dr. Ainebyoona said.

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