By Ronald Kabuye
Striking doctors under their body Uganda Medical Assoccition UMA have asked government to stop wasting their time calling them for meetings aiming at only intimidating them rather than solving the problems.
This was in an intense meeting that was called by the Multi-sectoral Committee constituted by cabinet to address the ongoing industrial action held at statistics house in kampala.
The doctors who listened calmly to the ministers, were angered by the words of the six ministers who included the health minister Jane Ruth Aceng, state minister for finance David Bahati, state minister for higher education John Chrestom Muyingo the Attorney and his deputy William Byaruhanga and Mwesigwa Rukutaana respectively that their strike is illegal though with legal and valid reasons adding that failure to agree with government it will force it to activate it’s plan B.
The attorney Byaruhanga and his deputy Rukutaana argued that UMA has got no legal mandate to negotiate with them since their are not a Union which makes their strike illegal however government is doing them a courtesy to talk and engage them simply because it’s the ordinary Ugandans who are suffering and losing life.
Rukutaana went on to threaten the internee doctors who he said have no contract with government but rather government is just doing them a favor hence they should know we’re they fall.
The angry doctors had no good words for the ministers when their time to speak came.
The president of the association Ekwaro Ebuku who kept emphasing that he is a messenger asked the minister to get serious and stop calling them for unserious meeting were they address them as their children and issue threats, lecture them on how they are not legal before trashing the argument that government will under take plan b.
“intimidations must have stopped yesterday, you are telling us plan b but we have up-to plan c, we don’t have police and military, we are polite but organized and as doctors we save lives and not paper pusher so please withdraw that order to RDCs before we withdraw even the emergency services” said Obuku
” you can do nothing to me because am not your employee, I will give it to you straight and that is what I have done.
Even the directors in your hospitals are telling us to continue striking.Let’s address the problem and leave Obuku alone. I want to sleep at my home. Let’s be serious. Next time you call us here, call us for serious business.” Ebuku further said
The workers’ legislator Sam Lyomoki wondered how six ministers would not reason before concluding that even the department heads are better than them hence advicing them to sort out themselves.
“one, two six ministers your worse than heads of departments, you only want to use the workers unions to drive you bad intentions.
I know my friend Dr. Aceng your saying this but your bleeding inside because one time you led a doctors strike in kumi and do not make a mistake of telling us your plan B” said Lyomoki.
Mr Usher Wilson Owere the Chairperson National association of Trade Union NATU surprised every one in the meeting when he turned against government officials who he dinned with at first saying that he learnt that government was playing a divid and rule game and that he is happy that it has come light.
“When we tell you to negotiate with us you take us for granted, am now happy that this has happened and let’s meet in court tomorrow.” said Owere
The meeting became so tense that at some point government officials contradicted themselves and pin pointed at each other.
While Concluding the meeting Aceng said that the Prime Minister will issue a statement on the way forward soon though the reality is nothing was arrived at in the meeting.