“After the dust settles and the economy is reopened, there has to be a conversation by wider society, legislators and Government about a more streamlined approach of how the country should deal with crises like this,” RX Radio Presenter James Onen aka Fatboy has urged.
He made the statements after figures from a regional newspaper indicated that Uganda registered the highest number of un-administered vaccines in the East African region despite the lockdown restrictions imposed to promote the cause.
The findings showed that Rwanda was leading in administering over 11.4 million doses out of the 13.6 million it received; followed by Tanzania which has dispensed 2.04 million out of the 4.4 million received; Kenya in third place administering 9 million doses out of 23.2 million and Uganda in the rear with 8.9 million administered of the 32.09 doses received.
He added that the power given to the President and his advisers in handling the pandemic has been extreme yet it has nearly shattered the economic and education sectors.
“I think the President has overly exercised his power to shut down the schools and economy for nearly two years. The authority he holds in directing the implementation of these policies is extreme.”
According to Fatboy, there should be a legal framework to check the decisions of the President, ensuring he is made accountable for the policies he puts in place in certain circumstances.
“Society should be included in the decisions made by the Government. Presidential advisers, including scientists and experts, should be publicized such that the larger public is aware of them and their interests as they make policies on their behalf.”
Olive, the show’s Co-host, said it's rumored that some government officials such as the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health can’t advise President Museveni on claims that the two are related. She added that if Presidential advisers are in some way related to the President, they would be working to please him rather than saving the country.
Furthermore Fatboy argued that, “ All the technocrats sitting in their air-conditioned offices earning thousands of dollars recommending lockdowns without considering their impact on the ordinary citizens is an inversion of the decision making process without any transparency at all.”
Olive, in agreement, commented, “School owners and parents were pushing for a conversation with the government to allow the reopening of schools in vain yet the scientific evidence showed that children are mildly affected by Covid-19.”
“From the onset of the pandemic, we learnt that Covid-19 doesn’t affect children and yet children below 10 years have been home for close to two years. The insistence of the Education Minister was to save them but people lost businesses and todate, there hasn't been a logical explanation as to why schools were closed for 2 years and there’s no accountability,” she added.
She referred to countries such as Malawi whose President was suggesting another lockdown but it was overruled by their judiciary, unlike in Uganda where the legal fraternity took a back seat yet schools and the economy are at the verge of total collapse.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.