MP Francis Zaake collapses in detention, admitted at Naguru Hospital

Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament Francis Zaake Butebi collapsed while in detention at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Kireka.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake is admitted to Naguru based Iran-Uganda hospital after collapsing while in detention at the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Kireka.

Zaake was arrested on Sunday 19, April 2020 evening in Mityana district for allegedly defying presidential directives on the distribution of food to members of the public.

President Yoweri Museveni had earlier on advised that all relief supplies be channelled through the National COVID-19 Taskforce, to avoid exposing people to circumstances that could lead to the spread of the disease.

The idea of centralizing the distribution according to Museveni was to ensure that food is distributed in an orderly manner by the food distribution teams, which are screened to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus to vulnerable families benefiting from food donations. Museveni accused opposition politicians of trying to milk political capital out of the COVID-19 crisis.

Zaake, an ardent supporter of the People Power pressure group was allegedly found distributing packs of rice and sugar to selected households in Buswa-Bulongo and Kiwawu villages in Mityana municipality and subsequently arrested.

People Power spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi said Zaake’s health started deteriorating on Wednesday, after collapsing at the Special Investigations Unit. In the aftermath, he was taken to Naguru Hospital where he is currently admitted.

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Ssenyonyi maintains that Zaake never disobeyed the presidential guidelines because he had hired motorcycles to safely deliver food to starving people in his constituency. He says unlike Zaake, several other ruling party leaders like minister Rosemary Sseninde who distributed food in Wakiso, Kyotera MP Haruna Kasolo, Hanifa Kawooya are freely distributing food without being arrested.

Zaake’s father Butebi Zaake has also confirmed that his son is in critical condition, However, Butebi could not divulge more details regarding Zaake’s condition in the hospital.

Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Patrick Onyango declined to comment on the matter saying that he was yet to be briefed.