Uganda: Minister Rukutana Warns 'Idle Ugandans' Over Social Media Misuse

Minister of State for Labour Mwesigwa Rukutana talks to patients at Rubaare Health Centre IV during an impromptu visit on February 16, 2020.
17 February 2020

Minister of State for Labour, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana has warned 'idle youths' against what he described as increased tendencies of misuse of Social media platforms by posting hate and sectarian information aimed at frustrating government projects.

According to the minister who is also the MP Rushenyi County, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were designed to help people keep up with friends, unite those with distinct ideas and help government where there are some loopholes.

However, social media users in Uganda have a tendency of spreading propaganda and sensational information, according to Mr Rukutana.

He said this had fueled cyber bullying and amplified social divisions among citizens.

"It is unfortunate that some youths have opted to use social media to criticize government programmes and sectors such as health and other infrastructural development and attack their leaders claiming that they have done nothing yet things are there. I want to tell you that your wishes are our wishes. If all wishes were horses, beggars would ride, " Mr Rukutana said during an impromptu visit to Rubaare Health Centre IV in Rubaare Town council, Rushenyi County on Sunday.

The minister also refuted reports that Rubaare Health Centre IV was not working because it lacked equipment.

He said he was concerned about a viral social media post alleging that the health facility was 'sick' due to inadequate equipment.

"Such is done by wrong elements used by local leaders who failed to win political seats during last general elections. Local politicians who lost elections must stop misusing unemployed youths to criticise government facilities and programmes on social media platforms," he said.

According to the minister, all departments of the health facility are operational except the theatre which developed cracks on the roof before the Ministry of Health suspended operations. He pledged to get all necessary materials to renovate the theatre.

According to Ntungamo District health officer, Dr Richard Bakamuturaki, the theatre has not been operational for the last five years because it needs Shs24 million to renovate the ceiling.

Ntungamo District has 41 health units including Itojo hospital and four health centre IVs.

Earlier, the minister donated Shs1 million to Rubaare Elders' Association comprised of 260 members led by one Simeon Kakoona Biganja. The money was aimed at empowering the elders in both Rubaare Sub County and town council, according to the minister.

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