Police arrest 27 doctors in Kampala over strike

medical interns

courtesy photo

In the case of the hunter becoming the hunted, policemen overturned the tables on doctors today when they arrested them for behaving in a manner likely to spread disease.

The doctors in a procession were arrested by police officers as they were walking to the Parliament of Uganda.

The group was arrested at George Street near the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. They were taken to the Central Police Station.

The procession began at Mulago Guest House where UMA held a press conference today morning.

The group of persons arrested included; 24 males and three females.

The group was matching to Parliament to present the Speaker of Parliament a petition to call for a special sitting of parliament so that the demands of doctors during this industrial action can be addressed.

The doctors want Members of Parliament to implement President Yoweri Museveni’s directives to set up a committee to follow up on compensation of health workers who succumbed to COVID-19, to increase pay of doctors, the reduction of taxes paid by health workers and the procurement of vehicles for all medical consultants.

The doctors also want the Uganda Revenue Authority to remove tax on vehicles of medical workers as directed by the president.

According to Luke Oweyesigire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, 27 were arrested for holding an illegal procession.

He said they violated COVID-19 standard operating procedures that prohibit all processions or gatherings that are not permitted by the Ministry of Health.

Oweyesigire said the 27 will make statements and might later be released on bond or will be remanded.

Among those arrested are the president of UMA, Dr Samuel Oledo who led the procession and other executive members of the association.

Dr Herbert Luswata, the general secretary of UMA said they will proceed with delivering their petition to the speaker.

“We are at parliament and want to deliver our document to the speaker then we shall go to CPS. But that was not a demonstration, it was a peaceful walk,” he said.

By press time, the doctors were still being held at CPS.

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