By Keefa Nuwahereza
The Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and National Guidance Hon. Judith Nabakooba, who is also the Mityan Municipality Female legislator, has cautioned all Ugandans to stop speculating about the reopening of educational institutions, urging them to patiently wait for a government resolution and communication about the same.
The Minister revealed this in a press statement she issued Sunday September 13, 2020 in which she noted that only President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni reserves the mandate to reopen schools and other education institutions.
Minister Nabakooba’s statement reads in full thus;
Stop Speculating on Reopening of Institutions
Thank you members of the Press for showing up for today’s national briefing.
I want to start by congratulating the NRM party for just concluded Parliamentary primary elections.
Allow me to use this opportunity to reecho the message of our President His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni when it comes to conducting peaceful and democratic elections.
When the President speaks about some of the violence witnessed in these elections, he is speaking not Just to NRM members but the entire country as well.
All Ugandans regardless of our political inclinations have an obligation to work for peace always.
The upcoming national election early next year should be a moment for peace and reconciliation.
I want to call upon fellow leaders in all our different capacities to always be champions and beacons of peace.
The call towards political leadership should always be informed by the desire to serve the people rather than self and personal gain.
Since that meeting, I have seen a number of attempts by different institutions coming out to announce different dates of resuming operations.
Whereas it is not bad for institutions to continue with their planning and preparing for resumption of business, it is wrong for them to continue announcing dates.
The President will very soon come out to address the nation on the progress being made and I call upon everyone to remain calm as they wait.
In the meantime, I believe our interest should be on how to stay safe from COVID-19 by observing the existing guidelines.
Our COVID-19 cases continue to rise. As of yesterday, the country had registered 326 new cases bringing our total to 4,703 cases. Kampala district and Buikwe continue to lead in new infections.
The number of deaths is now at 52 and still growing.
These figures are on the high side and we all should be very concerned.
Within just a space of about one month, Uganda registered 1,474 new cases.
Let us therefore put our energies on practicing what we have been told such as washing of hands with soap, wearing masks and social distancing.
Finally, I call upon everyone to be cautious during the heavy rains that we have started to experience.
We have registered some fatal cases where lives have been lost as a result of incidents related to the heavy rains.
It is the pursuit of personal gain that pushes people to extreme forms of violence whenever they loose and election.
I therefore want to call upon every Ugandan to say never again should the peaceful country be subject to the kind of violence we witnessed in some areas.
Elections at the national level are continuing and tomorrow People with Disabilities are electing their representatives at the sub county level while on Wednesday it will be the youth still at the sub county level.
We hope contestants in these elections have now learnt from previous mistakes and will conduct themselves in a peaceful manner.
All Special Interest Groups under these categories are being called upon to mobilise their members to participate.
Every adult Ugandan has a right to exercise their freedom to vote for a person of their choice without any fear or intimidation.
When it comes to the national COVID-19 response, I want to call upon Ugandans to be calm and ignore some of the speculative messages regarding the reopening of public institutions.
The mandate to guide the nation on the reopening of schools and other institutions is with His Excellency the President of Uganda.
A few weeks back shortly before the NRM parliamentary primaries, His Excellency met with the National Task force members on COVID-I9.
They briefed the President on the progress being made regarding the safety standards for key sectors such as churches, schools, the airport and many others
Let us look out for our children and ensue that we avoid any risk that may lead to loss of life.
Let us continue working for peace by saying no to any form of violence.
Let us continue observing the guidance put in place by the Ministry of Health and His Excellency the President concerning COVID-19.
Do not forget to wear your mask all the time when gong out in Public.”