NRM demand NUP candidate removes bandage to prove assault claims, UK becomes world Omicron epicenter, striking medics to resume work

Medical interns in Uganda last week agreed to resume work this week. The interns who have been striking since November 8 say the date for resuming is pending a further meeting scheduled this week.

The interns laid down their tools citing delays by the government to enhancements to their allowance as had been promised and directed by President Museveni. The striking medical students were on November 22 joined by their seniors, the Medical Officers, who also stated that their allowances had been delayed. They also complained of gaps in the health system. Information Minister, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, signed a letter Friday last week to Uganda Medical Association, indicating that funds for the interns had been availed by the government. The striking interns had caught attention of the international media last week.

Meanwhile, cases of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant in Uganda spiked last week from an earlier reported 7 cases to 27 by the end of the week. The Health Ministry, while announcing the spike warned Ugandans that the new variant was a fast spreader. It was also noted that the variant affects infants as much as it affects adults. The UK was last week poised to become the new epicenter of the new variant, superseding South Africa, where the variant was first detected. It was reported that the U.K. was notching 200,000 new Omicron infections a day, according to the country’s Health Security Agency estimates. When the new variant was first detected in November, the UK listed a number of African countries to and from which travel was restricted. This sparked outrage, with many asking why it was only African countries on the red list. The UK government last week abolished the infamous red list.

It might prove easier to convince the Opposition in Uganda to merge than it will be to convince the National Unity Platform (NUP) party that their candidate lost the Kayunga District Chairperson election held last Thursday. The party disputes the official results announced by the Electoral Commission, putting NRM’s Andrew Muwonge in the lead against their candidate Harriet Nakwedde. NUP officials have called for a vote recount, claiming that their independent tally done by the party placed their candidate ahead. However, this is yet to be verified and supported with firm evidence. Under the law, Electoral Commission (EC) is the only body that is mandated to announce election results.

The EC last week announced Mr Muwonge winner with 31,830 votes ahead of the Ms Nakwedde with 31,308 votes from the 337 polling stations. The peak of the election was marred by drama when the NUP candidate showed up before media with a bandage on her face and claimed that she was assaulted by security operatives. The NRM countered these accusations with calls for Nakwedde to remove her bandage and show that she actually had a wound.

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