On April 29, President Trump tweeted that, and I quote: “The only reason the US has reported one million cases of Coronavirus our testing is soo much better than any other country in the world. Other countries are way behind us in testing, and therefore show far fewer cases.”
The world is now used to Trump’s buffoonery and people were not surprised that he would present the war against the COVID-19 pandemic as another opportunity to proclaim the greatness of America to the rest of the world.
Nonetheless, humility deficiency and buffonery are not the affliction of the American President alone. Our own Sebalwanyi, the man who has imposed himself on us for the last 35 years, the man who started off his presidency referring to himself as the ‘father of the nation’ and is today calling himself ‘the grandfather of the bazzukulu’ believes, or wants people to believe he is the African warrior who has fought off a series of epidemics.
Our ‘grandfather’s overconfidence rivals that of the American President, except that in the case of Mr. Trump, the bragging may be justified albeit in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way.
We have been treated to PR spins by opportunistic Andrew Mwenda, who has been trumpeting Uganda as the champion of the COVID-19 fight, citing the comparatively reported few numbers of coronavirus cases as an indicator of a coherent, articulate and coordinated fight, led by Museveni and his team.
Five days ago, the minister of health praised God and announced that ‘all 1,408 samples tested negative to COVID-19 But such has been the case in all her daily Twitter updates about the pandemic. The exception, since the announcement of the first case in Uganda, has been the announcement of between one to five cases of positive cases from thousands of samples.
When the deal is too good, think twice, the sage say. There is no way all those samples weeks in, weeks out, can all test negative when the rest of the region is reporting ten to twenty positive cases everyday. Unless, like Andrew Mwenda insinuated in his report recently, Ugandans have some kind of special auto immunity that has attracted the interest of scientists to conduct research on the phenomenon.
Andrew Mwenda is so immersed in his own public relations spin, to the extent he has started to believe that Uganda’s COVID-19 cover up is actually the reality. It is not clear whether recent attack on Tanzania’s President whom he judged accusing him of mishandling the pandemic is one of his opportunistic strategy to blackmail leaders into giving him PR contracts to sanitise their dirty acts or a way of defending his PR gig with Museveni by portraying Uganda as ‘an island of health’, all thanks to the knight in shining armor, in the names of Jajja Museveni.
Mseveni and his cronies should know that we know that all his COVID-19 heroics are hogwash. We are not complete idiots to believe that a government that has failed to trace 17,000 suspected COVID-19 cases, which includes people who arrived in the country from high risk zones like Dubai, China and parts of Europe at the advent of the pandemic, could miraculously possess the ingenuity to control COVID-19 ostensibly better than anyone else on the continent.
They should know that we are well aware that Museveni and his cronies are deliberately ‘freezing’ the numbers, that is if they are even testing at all, so that they can present a ‘normal situation’ as a result of a ‘vigilant government’ to earn the ticket to conduct the upcoming elections that will further perpetuate Museveni and his cronies in power forever.
The truth is that coronavirus was worst managed in Uganda more than anywhere else in africa, what we see is a grand cover up by Museveni and his cronies. To borrow Trump’s words, Uganda is under reporting cases because the ministry of health is under instructions from Museveni to cover up.
The rest of the region are reporting high numbers because they being honest and transparent in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, not because they were necessarily lacklustre in their response.