Uproar as government distributes yellow masks to fight Covid-19

The government decision to distribute yellow face masks as the country tightens measures to combat the spread of the Coronavirus has attracted mixed reactions.

When President Yoweri Museveni issued a directive that government would distribute free face masks to Ugandans above the age of six, cabinet spokesperson and Minister for ICT and National Guidance Judith Nabakooba said that government face masks would have non-partisan colours.

Indeed, the first consignment of the free government face masks came in white, black and other non-partisan colours when the First Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Moses Ali flagged off the distribution to border districts early this month.

However, when the State Minister for Health Robinah Nabbanja spearheaded the delivery of the government face masks in Isingiro on Wednesday, yellow masks were distributed.

Yellow is the party colour of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). President Yoweri Museveni is the party chairman.


Minister Nabbanja was seen flashing a thumbs up finger gesture associated with common with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Ugandans on social media have since reacted diversely on the matter, with some saying that they will rather buy the masks from local suppliers than donning the yellow masks.

Simon Kaggwa Njala, a senior journalist and show host at NBS Television said, "Enduring the pain of Covid19 lockdown is stressful enough. Asking us to wear yellow masks is double tragedy. To that effect, I beg to defy. I'll wear any other mask. No yellow on my mouth. No! Hell NO!"

Another Ugandan, Paul Owor said that this could be one of the reasons that the distribution started in villages.

He said, "The same government that warned that the government masks should not be of colours affiliated to any political party is distributing yellow masks. No wonder they started in the villages."

"The masks are now yellow, very soon the radios will only be yellow in colour," another user quipped.

Another social media user, @YekoUG, advised government to at least make the face masks in all colours of the Uganda flag but not "yellow, green, red, blue alone. A mixture would be better."

Some like Nsubuga Andrew, however, justified the government's decision to have the masks in yellow, saying,

"Y'all incoherently ranting over the yellow Gov't masks! Like you do not knw wat forms a govt is a party that won Elections. Whether or not you like them the NRM is the party in government."

Nile Post's efforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Health about the yellow facemasks were futile as none was available speak to us at the moment.

The face masks will cost taxpayers shs 81 billion as revealed by Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng at the sidelines of the distribution flagging off.

Aceng said, "The process will cost the government about shs 81 billion. The Shs. 79 billion is the cost of the masks and the 2 billion is the cost of distribution."

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