HARM’S WAY! MPs stopped from visiting Ebola hit districts

By our reporter

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa has barred lawmakers from visiting districts that have recorded cases of ebola, saying such visits may act as spreading avenues of the deadly virus into Parliament.

Tayebwa issued the warning during the plenary sitting where he said that Uganda has continued to receive cases of the increasing numbers of bola, and there are many lawmakers from affected areas, yet there are MPs from infected areas who are continuing to go to their constituencies.

“I want to urge you colleagues that you can get a way to communicate to your constituents but you leave but you leave the professionals to do their job. There are situations where you can’t help much, you go to your areas and people run around you and then you might end up getting ebola and you bring it here,” said Tayebwa.

Although the Deputy Speaker fell short of highlighting how the ban will be imposed, he left it on self-regulation among MPs meaning staff and MPs at Parliament are at the mercy of the conscience of the lawmakers.

“So I want to urge you colleagues that if you know that there are areas which have reported cases or which have suspected some cases, kindly let us exercise a high level of restraint so that we avoid a catastrophe in this house. I also urge committees, in areas which the Ministry of Health has identified, I urge you not to go and do any work,” said Tayebwa.

Abraham Lokii (Jie County) argued that although the issue of ebola is a very serious issue, and the deadly virus doesn’t only attack human beings but it also attacks animals, more efforts have been put on protection of human life, and less on animals that humans consume, wondering if the Ministry of Agriculture is working alongside the Ministry of Health to avert the spread of ebola.

“In this outbreak of ebola, I am very much aware that animals are equally susceptible to ebola, the Ministry of Health monopoly as far as overseeing the spread of the disease is concerned. Can we also get some information as far as the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Industry is concerned, we could be harboring ebola in animals,” said Lokii.

The Deputy Speaker tasked the Ministry of Health to share information about the ebola outbreak with the Ministry of Agriculture and revealed plans by the Ministry of Health to update Parliament on the ebola outbreak next week.


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