The Ministry of Health (MoH) was adored for its efforts in the fight against Covid19. It seemed infallible! Many a time, government’s betrayal and that of Napoleon in Animal Farm aren’t dissimilar. However, MoH has been scrupulous and competent. They have been a breath of fresh air! The well-oiled administrative machine was accredited to Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng. Any flaws were attributed elsewhere.
Her sudden announcement of her intention to contest for the Lira Woman MP raised a few brows. In the NBS Frontline broadcast a while back, the Minister successfully waned off any criticisms from opposition renegade panellists and their NRM counterpart. However, her attempt to wade into political topics solicited caution from Nobert Mao.
Dr. Aceng now has to face up to the fiery political theatre. The infallible gem, as she was, faced tumultuous public reactions after breaching the guidelines that her ministry imposed. She claimed that she was conducting a sensitisation campaign.
Truly, it doesn’t matter that it wasn’t a political rally. It only matters that she has the potential to utilise these ‘sensitisation gatherings’ as platforms for good will campaigns. We’ve seen enough of this from the President.
The public fury is justifiable! It’s noteworthy that her political aspirations worsened her violations of her ministry’s guidelines. It does not matter, as she says, that the people were excited to see ‘mama Corona’. The incident where Museveni’s convoy knocked a goat was explained by the president thus; he could not, in good conscience, stop for the people who had gathered to see him. He would inadvertently be aiding the spread of Corona Virus.
Yet, the Minister of Health insists that she did nothing wrong. A political contradiction to everything we’ve seen from government so far. Maybe the virus isn’t as bad as we think and; only she knows the truth! The hero, turned villain, is now as arrogant as the Historicals. Arrogance towards the public disfavours the campaigner.
People that seek to be Parliamentarians are known to be populists; or marketed as such. Only the incumbent President has been known to be unapologetic. Nevertheless, we’ve seen him become palatable towards elections. Even NRM Parliamentarians are known to do a bit of damage control. The doctor seems to have no such perceptions. She has carried the same commanding air from her ministerial role to politics.
Politicians, no matter their inclinations, are always disagreeable. Yet, some make themselves preferable. Those, I think, understand the art of public relations. When attacked, they exploit vulnerability and so, become the heroes. When they are villainised, they logically defend their position; where they aren’t kind enough to humour us with an apology. The Minister is only fuelling the opposition with her claim of innocence.
‘Did I do anything wrong?’ Let’s recap! When parliamentarians attempted to relieve their constituents of hunger, they were arrested for causing gatherings. They were said to be contravening the MoH guidelines. The doctor, having caused a gathering, where there were clear violations of her Ministry’s guidelines, insisted that she didn’t do anything wrong. I doubt that she’s that stupid!
Having been put under the spotlight, she behaved liked a pampered child that’s never had a finger raised at her. She ought to change her tactic, bullying won’t do.
Perhaps, she could consider taking lessons from her seniors. Whereas she is well adjusted for her administrative roles, the same may not be said regarding her new interests. She has clearly mishandled the situation. If she succeeds with her current demeanour, that’ll be unprecedented. Or perhaps, the LORD may favour her with immunity like the Historicals enjoy!
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- Joel Kenneth Ndawula is a Student of Law at Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi. He is an inspired writer, the editor and author here; a blogger of sorts.
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