By Alex Muhumuza
Like drowning individuals clutching at straws, the Chimpreports propagandists are still trying to keep alive the fiction that “Coronavirus is spreading to Uganda from Rwanda”.
The website, one of the many sponsored by Ugandan Military Intelligence, CMI, on Wednesday this week published an article saying the Ugandan military had “deployed along the Rwanda border”. That, said the website, was done as a means “to stop influx of Rwandans into Uganda as a preventive measure against the spread of Coronavirus in Uganda.” Readers that are familiar with the facts of the COVID-19 situation in Uganda will almost have laughed their tongues out at this xenophobic smear.
One can point out that if the Ugandan regime truly wanted to deploy their military to stop COVID-19 spreading like a wildfire in Uganda, they would quickly send a battalion to surround Entebbe Airport, and leave Rwanda alone. Uganda’s main airport is COVID-19’s true entry point into the country, every adult in Uganda by now is aware.
“So unless UPDF is deploying at the Rwandan border to abduct hundreds more innocent Rwandans to deliver them to CMI torture dungeons, there is nothing else they would be doing there,” remarked a reader in Kigali. In any case, others said, the best defense lines against the spread of COVID-19 are moral and ethical discipline, and not some army men posturing with guns at borders.
As Chimpreports tries to keep its fictions alive, that “Rwandese are crossing in numbers in Uganda carrying Coronavirus” – when everyone knows no Rwandan has been crossing the border, heeding their government’s advisory not to go to a country where they are likely to be arbitrarily arrested, persecuted, illegally detained, and tortured – Ugandan with access to social media or TV news know the truth.
They know that officials in a security capacity at Entebbe Airport took bribes two weeks ago to let 40 Chinese into Kampala without getting tested for COVID-19, or quarantined. NBS TV news traced those people to an apartment building in the Naguru neighborhood. It has now come to light that about three of them have since tested positive to Coronavirus.
That was just for starters. Alarmed Ugandans are asking themselves how many foreigners have entered the country the way the Chinese did.
Other than untested foreigners, people have read social media commentary about how NRM politicians or UPDF brass have simply been turning up at the airport to pick relatives, friends or associates returning from abroad. With no one daring to stop them, they simply drive away. The public has learnt that very many other individuals rather than go into quarantine have been paying bribes, and leaving the airport untested.
Only those unwilling, or unable to pay bribes are then subjected to “quarantine” – a misnomer for getting dumped, and detained in overcrowded hotels in Entebbe town, where they end up paying for the so-called quarantine themselves. “This shoddy treatment of people not only is completely unprofessional, it will add to the Coronavirus numbers,” wrote Ugandan Twitter personality Angelo Izama in a message last Friday.
The corruption-motivated jettisoning of professionalism could end up causing a true medical calamity in Uganda, medical doctors are saying. The magnitude of the problem can be seen in statistics that Kampala media, some which have decided to eschew propaganda for the truth, are quoting. The overwhelming numbers of suspected untested COVID-19 cases have been returning from Dubai, where most COVID-19 “super-spreaders” are coming from.
According to Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services in Uganda’s Ministry of Health, 574 individuals have travelled from Dubai in the last two weeks and are at various places in Uganda, an article published yesterday, Thursday 26 in the Daily Monitor said. All of these people had left Entebbe, at different dates, without getting screened.
Another Ugandan propaganda website, SpyReports – which is run by one Wamala Raymond who gets his funding direct from Entebbe State House – had earlier this week published a list, and named names of up to 57 Ugandans it accused on leaving Entebbe without getting tested for COVID-19. SpyReports’ article was indicative of the fact its masters are realizing the direct threat the virus is posing even to them, the powers that be, observers commented.
Usually SpyReports would be focused on slandering Rwanda. The website in fact last Friday had published an allegations that “Rwanda had sent a woman to spread Coronavirus into Uganda”, which turned out to be fictitious. The woman they talked about had no Coronavirus. But with the realization there was a whole multitude of people spreading COVID-19 out in the country, which might even infect SpyReports’ funders, they changed their tune. “They decided the truth was better than death!” laughed a reader that tracks Uganda’s propaganda media.
One can only watch and wonder how long Chimpreports will stick to its anti-Rwanda slanders, even as the COVID-19 problem worsens in Uganda.