The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has embarked on a process to mend the relationship between Makerere University and the Ministry of Health whose officials are reportedly fighting over COVID-19 cash. The process started with a crisis meeting presided over by the acting Prime Minister Gen Moses Ali this morning.
Reports alleging a heated clash between the two institutions came into the public domain days after the president noted that the COVID-19 testing lab at Makerere University had released wrong information in relation to the number of positive cases that had been recorded. Media reports indicated that the centre of the clash was the cost of running the tests.
The report, according to Gen Moses Ali, angered President Museveni who directed that the two parties be brought together to end all the ‘useless’ clashes and focus on the fight against the pandemic.
Today, the two parties met at the Office of the Prime Minister in the presence of Members of the National COVID-19 taskforce and a representative from the World Health Organisation and briefly talked about the matter at hand and rebutted reports of a fight.
Dr Jane Ruth Acheng, the health Minister distanced herself and the ministry from the allegation noting that the two parties have enjoyed a cordial relationship based on evidence even before COVID-19 where Makerere generated research and submitted it to the ministry to carry out by policy decisions.
Makerere University vice-chancellor professor Barnabas Nawangwe also said that the only issue between the two parties was about the false COVID-19 results, which has since been cleared.
He added that the government has given Makerere over 70.3 billion Shillings to support over 110 research and innovation projects currently being undertaken by staff, students and other collaborators to find locally based solutions to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Dr Daina Atwine, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary notes that the said clash between Makerere and the ministry among others is instigated by people with a personal vendetta.
After the meeting, all the participants of the meeting reportedly went to Entebbe to meet the president.