MPs demand end to COVID Tests before meeting Museveni

MPs demand end to COVID Tests before meeting Museveni
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The speaker of parliament Anitah Among has affirmed her intentions to negotiate with the Special Forces Command (SFC) to eliminate mandatory COVID-19 tests and the confiscation of MPs' phones and iPads when attending events involving President Museveni.

This announcement follows increasing dissatisfaction among MPs over the stringent protocols that are viewed as inconvenient and unnecessary.

During this afternoons parliamentary session, Kalungu West MP Joseph Ssewungu raised concerns about the continued imposition of COVID-19 testing for MPs and the seizure of their electronic devices during state functions.

"Why are we still going to such functions and we have to test for COVID-19, pluck my nose?" Ssewungu questioned.

"I also want to know the results of the president before he tests me. How can we have one person in the country that everybody must be tested for COVID before going close to him? Denying us our gadgets, iPad, phones, I can't be part of that."

Speaker Among acknowledged these concerns and promised to address them with the SFC, emphasizing the need for MPs to use their iPads for parliamentary work.

"The State of Nation Address is your (MPs) function, it is a parliament function. We are only inviting the president to address us and start the next session of our sitting," she explained.

"We can agree that we are waiving off COVID-19 testing; after all, the President will be sitting far away. It will look bad for you not to come for your own function." she added

Regarding the confiscation of electronic devices, Among stressed the importance of MPs having access to their iPads and other devices for their work.

"We will request SFC that our MPs don't use papers—we gave them iPads which they use day to day, and we are also not comfortable with COVID-19 testing. We will talk to them; I mean, they are human beings," she stated.

The proposed changes aim to encourage greater participation by MPs in the state of nation address and reduce the perceived barriers created by security protocols.

Boycott of the state of nation address and other state events has since become a norm by majority members of parliament from the opposition.

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