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Kadaga Taunts Gov’t On Free Masks: Where’ll You Get Money To Buy Them?

The feud between the legislature and executive continues to gather steam after the Speaker challenged government to tell the world where it’ll get money to buy the much anticipated free masks.

This is after President Yoweri Museveni during his 14th COVID-19 address to the nation on Monday announced that Government would embark on issuing masks to about 34million Ugandans within two weeks as the country relaxes its lockdown measures put in place to contain the spread of Coronovirus.

However, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga (pictured) is wondering where Government will get the money to procure and supply masks to all Ugandans above 6years.

Kadaga has since tasked the Ministry of Health to explain where funds will come from for this exercise.

The Speaker said Parliament approved the funds for COVID-19 and it didn’t cover for masks.

 Kadaga said: “I just want to know how much money you’re going to use to buy masks for Ugandans. Secondly, did we budget for it? Did we budget for these masks?”

The Speaker was responding to a statement t issued to  Parliament by Joyce Moriku, State Minister for Health, who said  Government will follow formal procedure for award of contract to all manufacturing companies that have the capacity to produce the required face masks according to the laws of this country.

“The available capacity assured by Uganda Manufacturers Association members engaged in textile is 800,000 per day. There is also proposal to mobilize other small scale producers under Kampala Capital City Authority and other Local Governments,” Minister Moriku said, adding that the Ministry of Health is in the process of procuring face mask for the public and has given guidelines on the standard of face mask to be used.

 “However in the interim, we engage those who can make as per the standard guideline or procure privately to do so,” she said.

While reacting to the Minister’s statement, James Baba, the State Minister for Internal Affairs pointed out that Government failed to give Ugandans a clear indication of how the 42 million masks will be availed to all Ugandans in the two weeks.

Latif Ssebagala Sengendo, Kawempe North MP, demanded to know the number of face masks the Government is planning to give each person especially the students who are set to resume studies soon, arguing that students in schools cannot have only one pair of Uniform, and called on Government to take note of the number of masks each Ugandan should get to sustain the mandatory wearing of masks in public.

It is worth noting that for the past two weeks, the two branches of government have been at loggerheads over controversial monies passed by the August house to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.

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