By Mary Kisakye
President Museveni has threatened to fire all striking medical doctors and replace them with people hungry for jobs, if the former do not abandon their strike and go back to work.
The President who was speaking on Thursday during a public rally in Burahya County, Kabarole District organized by the area MP Margaret Muhanga accused the striking medical personnel of failing the National Resistance Movement principle of managing scarce resources.
“I will not accept Ugandans to die, doctors who don’t want to work will be sacked,” he said.
The President’s remarks follow a flopped mediation between medical doctors under their umbrella Uganda Medical Association(UMA) and a select committee of ministers tasked to look into their demands on Wednesday.
A total of six ministers including; Dr.Ruth Aceng(Ministry of Health),David Bahati(Finance),John Chrysestom Muyingo(Education), David Karubanga(Public service),William Byaruhanga(Attorney General) and Mwesigwa Rukutana(Deputy Attorney General) Wednesday made a deadlock when doctors insisted they will not return to work.
In the same meeting, Dr Ekwaro Obuku, the president of the UMA accused government of trying to intimidate medical workers.
“Intimidation must have stopped yesterday. If you are telling us that you have plan B, we have up to plan C,” the outspoken Obuku said.
Last year, Museveni fired 14 health workers at Nakawuka Health Centre III in Mpumudde Village, Wakiso town council, for alleged poor attitude, absenteeism and laziness. They were, however, reinstated following a report by Wakiso District Chairperson, Matia Lwanga Bwanika, which indicated that the affected staff were arbitrarily fired by President Museveni, contrary to the principles of natural justice, which grant any one a right to a fair hearing.
The doctors are not the only government workers on strike, prosecutors are also up in arms demanding for more pay. It remains unclear if the President intends to sack them as well should they refuse to return for duty.