Parliamentary Aspirant Dickson Kateshumbwa has been summoned by the Sheema District COVID-19 taskforce for allegedly violating guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and the Electoral Commission to stem the spread of covid-19.
Kateshumbwa, a former commissioner of Uganda Revenue Authority is seeking endorsement from the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM to contest for the seat, currently occupied by Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, the Minister in charge of Science and Technology.
But, the chairperson of the Sheema District COVID-19 task Force Frank Kyerere has faulted Kateshumbwa for a procession held in his support around Sheema Municipality, disregarding all guidelines issued to ensure that the disease, which spreads through person to person contact is forestalled.
The Greater Bushenyi Regional Police Commander, Bosco Otim says police tried to block the procession by mounting roadblocks to stop Kateshumbwa’s supporters from proceeding to Koga, the border of Mbarara and Sheema. However, the police teams were overpowered by the multitudes of supporters.
The procession brought business and traffic to a standstill along the Mbarara-Sheema road, and around Kabwohe town.
Kyereere says that besides the absence of physical distancing, the majority of Kateshumbwa’s supporters had no face masks, adding that the police has been advised to investigate them for participating in a negligent act which is likely to spread infectious diseases and disobedience of lawful orders.
But Kateshumbwa says that he did not plan the procession, neither was he aware that in the process of welcoming him after the nomination, his supporters flouted some COVID-19 guidelines.
Dr Polly Nkwasibwe Katate, the political assistant to Kateshumbwa blamed the police that tried to block them when they were in the confines of the Standard Operating Procedures.
Statement by Kateshumbwa:
The Mbarara Sheema procession widely circulated on various platforms on social media was not organised by me. After my successful nomination in Kampala my plan was to meet my campaign team at my country home in Kabwohe only to be surprised by my supporters near Mbarara City and escorted me to Sheema Municipality.
The police were visibly overwhelmed by the numbers and the only thing I could do was to avail face masks that I had come with for my campaign agents. It has come to my attention that my supporters action was in response to my competitors malicious propaganda where he has been assuring people of Sheema Municipality that he will block my nomination. The news of my nomination therefore caused excitement and the people decided to prepare without my knowledge the massive reception in celebration of my nomination.
I advise the general community including my supporters to follow the presidential directives and MOH guidelines on covid 19. COVID 19 is real and we must all do our part to stop its spread by wearing face masks, wash hands and practice social distancing at all times. I will do my part in the scientific campaigns to sensitise the population against COVID19.
I also advise my main competitor to desist from malicious propaganda, intimidation and illegal acts that may foment anger in Sheema Municipality. I commend the RDC, Police and other Security Services for managing the situation that has ended calmly without any incidents.
Lastly I assure the people of Sheema Municipality and the NRM members in particular to remain calm, peaceful and avoid reacting to any provocations.
Aspiring candidate Sheema Municipality (NRM)