President Yoweri Museveni has connected the deaths of nearly 3,000 individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic to what he describes as the “irresponsible” conduct of Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, during the 2021 presidential elections.
Throughout the election campaigns, supporters of Bobi Wine engaged in numerous confrontations with security forces, as the police sought to prevent large gatherings from taking place.
The police contended that these rallies served as significant COVID-19 transmission points, a viewpoint that was challenged by Bobi Wine’s team.
In response, Bobi Wine accused the government of attempting to hinder his ability to mobilize substantial support for his presidential candidacy.
Museveni stated, “Bobi Wine’s conduct is irresponsible, and it led to an increased spread of the coronavirus through this recklessness.”
He continued, “This is how we lost 3,291 lives. Prior to these reckless rallies, we had lost approximately 300 individuals.”
Museveni’s comments came in response to a question from a user during an event, who was inquiring why Bobi Wine’s rallies were being restricted while concerts were permitted, despite the potential threat of terrorist attacks.
Museveni responded, “This is a matter of discipline. Concerts are organized with precautions such as cordoning off areas and conducting security checks for attendees.”
During the initial wave of COVID-19 in Uganda, case numbers began to rise significantly in August 2020, with a smaller peak in September and the highest peak recorded in December 2020.
The second wave, which occurred in 2021, reached its zenith in June, and the third wave began to peak in December 2021.
Experts at the time suggested that the strain placed on healthcare systems due to the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases may have contributed to higher overall mortality rates, as timely and adequate care for other health conditions at healthcare facilities became more challenging to provide.