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Lamwo RDC, LCV Chairperson Bicker over Implementation Of Covid-19 Directives

The two leaders have had counter-accusations for nearly a month since the country went into lockdown with each accusing the other of insubordination, sparking fears that their conducts are crippling efforts geared towards implementation of COVID-19 directives.
Accused, Lamwo Resident District Commissioner Mr Nabinson Kidega addresses women in Atiak Subcounty Amuru District on May 16 2019. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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The Lamwo Resident District Commissioner and the LCV Chairperson have disagreed over the implementation of directives that seek to curb the spread of coronavirus disease.

The two leaders have had counter-accusations for nearly a month since the country went into lockdown with each accusing the other of insubordination, sparking fears that their conducts are crippling efforts geared towards implementation of COVID-19 directives.

John Komakech Ogwok, the LCV Chairperson alleges that the RDC James Nabinson Kidega is pursuing a different line outside the stipulated guidelines issued by president and Ministry of Health.

Ogwok notes that his counterpart has consistently ignored advises ensuring that casual workers at Ayuu Alali sugarcane plantation observe the required social distancing while being transported and working.

For instance, he says the district leaders last week intercepted more than 80 casual labourers packed in one truck being transported to the sugar plantation in Palabek Kal sub-county.

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He also notes that the RDC failed to declare to the district local government an ambulance that was recently given by UNHCR to the district task force to help in transportation of patients during the lockdown.

Ogwok claims that the RDC handed over the ambulance to his relative to drive and notes that it was misused and recently broke down. 

 “An ambulance which was given by UNHCR to help health facilities in the district was handed without our knowledge to a driver who is a relative of the RDC. It was grossly misused to the extent that within a short time, it broke down, now we are being told to write an incident report yet we know how they were operating It,” says Ogwok.

Kidega, however, denied the allegations saying that he is being accused on political grounds by the chairperson and his members.

He notes that the workers at Ayu Alali Sugarcane plantation were sourced from the community and have undergone screening for COVID-19.

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Kidega also refuted claims that the ambulance was grossly mismanaged for his interest citing that he lobbied for the ambulance and therefore can’t abuse it.

The District Health Officer Dr Charles Oyo Akiya says the ambulance was never handed to the district through the normal procedures and acknowledged that the driver hired wasn’t part of the district drivers.

Dr Akiya says he has never been fed with information that the ambulance got a mechanical problem adding that the ambulance has since been taken by UNHCR to Adjumani district following the accusations. 

Kidega also faced similar accusation from his security counterparts in Kitgum district over meddling with directives on implementing COVID-19 guidelines by granting movement permits to people with questionable backgrounds.

For instance, the officer in charge of the operation at Kitgum Central police station in a recent COVID-19 task force meeting accused Kidega before the Kitgum Resident district commissioner of sabotaging their works.

Kidega, however, defended himself that he has only been granting movement stickers to essential service providers and people who requested to travel for medical treatment or transport their patients since good health facilities are in Kitgum.

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