KAMPALA —MTN Uganda Uganda Chief Executive Officer Wim Vanhelleputte has handed over three brand new Nissan Hardbody pickups to national task force to help in the COVID-19 fight.
The cars were received by President Yoweri Museveni and Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at Kololo Independence Grounds where the president also officially flagged off a fleet of 45 donated vehicles.
President Museveni thanked MTN Uganda and other donors including Ruparelia, Mandela Group among others and said that the plan is to have 10 cars per district.
“I want to build a crisis response fleet for the Ministry of Health. I won’t allow these vehicles to be misused by officials just by driving around. We want 1350 cars so that each district gets about 10,” Mr. Museveni said.
The President also hinted on the issue of truck drivers from Kenya and Tanzania who tested positive for the virus, revealing that Ministers of Health across the East African Community are in talks to the matter.
Key issues on the agenda, he said, testing of drivers before they set off, waiting for results at border points before they proceed or relay driving.
“There are three issues the ministers are discussing, testing these people before they come and the drivers wait for results before they proceed. We need the goods to come in but at the same time we don’t want the disease,” he said, saluting Ugandans for obeying guidelines.
“I am very glad about the response of the Ugandans,” said the President, noting that “I have been discussing with our scientists and they are sure a vaccine can be developed.”
“They are working hard to develop one but that may take some months. The real answer to Coronavirus is to develop a vaccine”.
While addressing the nation last week, Museveni called upon able Ugandans to provide support as the country grapples with COVID-19.
The President made his preferences known.
He requested donors who are willing to help in the fight to prioritize donating brand new double-cabin pick-up trucks, with four-wheel drive.
Museveni said with more cars at the health ministry’s disposal, it will be able to execute its mandate during this critical time.
He openly asked MTN and Airtel to contribute vehicles instead of data and sms.
Museveni made the request when he read that Airtel has contributed data worth million to the Rugunda led committee.