Kampala – State Minister for Privatization and investment, Hon. Anite Evelyn has mobilized seven vehicles, an ambulance and Shs.200million from manufacturers toward the fight against COVID-19.
In an exclusive interview with Red Pepper Digital this evening, Anite shed light on the initiative moved by President Museveni, to mobilize resources; notably vehicles.
“The move was started by the president to complement the efforts of Government during the fight against Coronavirus pandemic,” Hon. Anite said.
The manufacturers are simply responding to the President’s call at free will. this is an excellent move especially at this moment when we all need each other to fight this pandemic,” Anite added.
Anite confirmed receipt of the vehicles and donations from the manufacturers that were responding to the presidential call to support the COVID-19 fight in Uganda
Vehicles received from investors
“I received seven vehicles; two from Paul Zhang of Tingan Tan (Mbale Industrial Park), two others from a group of Chinese investors from Mbalala in Mukono., an ambulance from Yasser Ahmed of Hariss international (Riham),” Anite clarified
Omar Ahmed Mandela of the Mandela Group also donated 2 double-cabin pick-ups to Hon. Anite
In one of the nation addresses, President Museveni made a public call to the investors in Uganda to support the government’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have over 4,900 factories and if each of them could contribute a vehicle (4WD) towards this because we would not be having the problem of transportation and emergency response,” President Museveni.
Targeting Vehicles only?
Minister Anite sustained that the government was not only targeting vehicles on but also receiving other donations such as PPE, COVID-19 equipment, among others.
“No, we are not only targeting cars! We are receiving any kind of support, for instance, some of the investors are giving cash others food items, anti-epidemic materials like testing kits, protective gears, temperature monitors, hand sanitizers, et cetera,” Anita spelt-out.
Anita added that Modern Distillers Ltd and Hariss International (Riham) responded to the government’s call for support by donating UGX. 100M each to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our reporter ensued the tele-interview probing what would happen to the vehicles after the COVID-19; Minister Anite sustained that the vehicles would be attached to Health services.
“We shall put them in a pool of other vehicles of the Ministry of Health to help with the challenges in the Health Sector.
Grounded government vehicles
Investment Minister acknowledged that there were hundreds of grounded government vehicles and it was important to repair, however, noted that the coronavirus pandemic was time-sensitive.
“I agree that Government should repair the hundreds of cars which are grounded, however, in the fight against Corona Virus, time is of great essence any minute u lose exposes lives of our people to the relentless virus and death; so we have to deal with the virus in timely and decisively,” Hon. Anite upheld.
On raising the issue of grounded government vehicles with the President, Hon. Anite retreated labelling the move trivial to be tabled before a Head of State given the government had established systems to attend to that.
“I can’t raise such a trivial issue with the head of state; We have the technical officers both at the central Government and local government that should do their work, well plan and budget for the repairs of those cars,” Anite said
“Permanent secretaries in the various ministries and CAOs in the local governments should repair the cars they grounded – if any – and also maintain the ones we are receiving from donations to National Response Fund to COVID-19,” Hon. Anite added.
National Response Fund to COVID19 incepted
In other developments, Uganda’s Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, on Tuesday, April 7, inaugurated the National COVID19 Response Fund to oversee transparency and make sure all resources mobilized to serve the purpose of fighting this pandemic.
The announcement manifested from a Tuesday morning in a meeting of the National Task Force headed by the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda and graced by President Museveni.
President Museveni – in retort – appointed the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mary Busingye Karooro Okurut to head the Operations of the National fund thus taking political charge of the fundraising efforts – donations, items, COVID-19 equipment, funds, et cetera.
Museveni also appointed Dorothy Kisaka, the Senior Governance Advisor to the Prime Minister, to be the Administrator of the Fund.