Buliisa protests lockdown, Museveni silent

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Abandoned homesteads submerged by Lake Albert floods at Wanseko landing site in Kigwera Sub-county, Buliisa District. (Photo: Kazi-njema reporter)

Residents of Buliisa want the COVID-19 lockdown lifted to enable communities survive the impact of consecutive natural and human disasters that have befallen them alongside the global coronavirus pandemic.

Communities left homeless by the Lake Albert floods and the military evictions on the landing sites believed by the central government to be illegal coupled with security threats have further been frustrated by selective COVID-19 control restrictions.

Mr Solomon Wamara, a local human rights activist, finds no reason of keeping Buliisa district under total lockdown when restrictions are relaxed in all its neighbours.

He threatens to mobilise peaceful demonstrations if the government does not justify its action within this month.

Audio: Wamara on lockdown (Runyoro/Rutooro)

Mr Wilson Kiiza, the Executive Director for Bugungu Heritage and Information Centre questions whether the government thinks about the deteriorating economy and access to health services in the district.

He reminds leaders of the plight of the poor majority who depend on public transport to access public and private services yet the former find no trouble using private means.

Audio: Kiiza on lockdown (English)

Ms Robinah Mulimba the female councillor for Butyaba sub-county and district secretary for production and natural resources is deeply concerned about the suffering children and women displaced by floods and evictions during this period of the protracted lockdown.

Audio: Mulimba on lockdown (English)

However, Mr Amos Asiimwe the head of the district COVID-19 Task Force cum Resident District Commissioner says he has no powers of lifting the lockdown.

In his capacity, he has only approved boda-boda riders to carry one passenger in response to public outcry while keeping his ear to State House for response to his plea.

Audio: Asiimwe on lockdown (English)

Most border districts including Hoima, Kikuube, Pakwach and Nebbi had COVID-19 restrictions relaxed nearly two months ago but Buliisa remains tacit about.

In less than two weeks, the government had lifted a lockdown imposed on Gulu district by mid-June when the Acholi Members of Parliament protested with impeccable reasoning against the move.

Buliisa district is part of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom that has over 20 representatives in parliament including their Chairperson, Mr Steven Birahwa Mukitale who is a born of Buliisa, state minister for Bunyoro Affairs, Mr Ernest Kiiza, state minister for public service, Mr David Karubanga and minister for finance, planning and economic development, Mr Matiya Kasaija.

Kazi-njema News identifies a high capacity of these people’s combined voice through the right channel to quickly and positively influence the status quo as long as there is no hidden agenda.

The lockdown does not only affect Buliisa but the entire Bunyoro and West Nile regions due to the historical, economic and social relationships spiced by challenges of floods and evictions.

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