Residents of Bwaise, a suburb of Kampala are upbeat after receiving relief food from the
government as a way of mitigating the challenges caused by the Coronavirus
(COVID -19) lockdown.
The distribution had delayed a bit as leaders including
the minister in charge of Kampala metropolitan affairs, her junior and local
village leaders disagreed on the distribution pattern.
However, later on, they
hit a common ground of creating several teams and scatter in different
directions distributing food from house by house.
The village council leaders had already mobilized
residents in their communities to keep at home. And whenever the distribution
vehicle reached, every occupant in the house could be ordered to stand on the
doorway for headcount and then actual reception of relief depending on the
number of occupants per house.
Sarah Nakalema, a resident of Kulumba zone and mother
of three, said the delivery was unbelievable. She shouted and hailed "long live
(president) Museveni" as she received 30 kilograms of maize flour and 15
kilograms of beans. Her neighbors were also all in joy. some, however, were
lamenting that the government should as well send them charcoal.
//Cue in: “Munage tusanyuse...
Cue out...meketa bimekete."//
Most of the families that received food in Bwaise where headed by single mothers. Some could be seen unpacking the delivery yo prepare their next meal.
Madina Atto says that the governments
move to cater for them in such times was timely as they were already running
out of the few supplies they had stocked.
The distribution, however, left out some people whom the
village leaders thought were well off and could survive even during the lockdown. Habib Nsubuga, Bubajjwe
village chairperson notes he could not allow food to be distributed to well off
However, expectant and breastfeeding mothers who were
expecting to get milk where left guessing on whether this was yet another empty
promise from the government.
Tensions further escalated when UPDF trucks loaded with
milk were sighted which later prompted residents to blame the distributing teams for allegedly plotting to deny them the milk.
Rachel Nakiwala appealed to the government to investigate
the matter before some people hijack the relief items give the corrupt
tendencies among government officials.
//Cue in: "Ffe banakawere…
However, the distributing soldiers to explain that the
first consignment never included milk. The officer was seen registering
expectant mothers asking them for their national identification numbers and
Lt Col. Herny Obbo the UPDF land forces spokesperson, who
also the media contact person for the operation had no clear explanation on why
they were not giving out milk. He, however, assures that with time all
foodstuffs as promised will be delivered.
//Cue in: "I wouldn’t…
Cue out...who they are."//
Let Col. Obbo further notes that day one has been a pilot
and all the challenges and success they have had will be informing how the
operation in other areas where they are going to roll out will be.
//Cue in: "I must say…
Cue out...demanding the food."//
The distribution exercise is being handled by
security under Gen. Elly Tumwine working with local Council One Chairpersons. It is expected to benefit over 1.5 million people.