Minister Aceng allows small slip grow into national scandal
Uganda’s Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng has chosen the path of obstinancy by continuing to defend herself against accusations of flouting the COVID-19 rules.
Now the Minister’s decision has escalated into a national scandal after Parliament summoned her to explain why she breached her own rules.
Although the government through the Minister of information Judith Nabakooba has expressed regret, over the incident, Aceng’s reluctany to take responsibility for the slip has annoyed many.
It appears that many people have been enraged not by the video that showed her in a crowd without wearing a mask, but rather by her unwillingness to admit error in her explanation.
The pictures which were taken in Lira where she intends to stand for a Parliamentary seat, depicted Aceng in a gathering that defied the 2 meter distance rules that were set by her ministry.
The pictures also showed that she was not wearing a mask while in the crowd contrary to the government’s stand that everyone is supposed to wear a must in public at all times.
Despite these clear breeches, Minister Aceng has created the impression that since the gathering was not a political rally, she has no reason to apologize.
Aceng said: “I would like to reiterate that I was not holding a political rally.
“I was launching the distribution of face masks in Aromo Sub county and training people on how to properly use the masks on Friday 10 July 2020,” she added.
Members of Parliament as well as the general public have called for her resignation for failing to obey the same rules for which many Ugandans have lost lives and livelihoods.
Kalungu West Member of Parliament, Joseph Ssewungu said Aceng is misleading the president to declare harsh directives for a situation that the Minister herself doesn’t believe in.
“The Minister of Health who is supposed to be the custodian of these regulations was over the weekend seen to be flouting the same guidelines in Lira district. She was addressing a crowd without social distancing and neither did she have a mask,” he said.
Some have argued that the Minister’s behavior risks undermining the government directives on controlling the spread of the disease.