The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) has distanced itself from the action by the Association President Dr Samuel Oledo who, together with a group of others, donning clinical coats knelt before president Museveni asking him to stand for the presidency again in 2026.
Dr Herbert Luswata, the General Secretary of the association said on Monday that the president didn’t act as a member of the association but rather as a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement party. He says while the president claimed he was speaking on behalf of doctors, he had only gathered medical students who he lured into escorting him to the event masquerading as doctors.
Oledo didn’t pick up calls when contacted by URN. But, while attending an NRM youth symposium held at Kololo on Saturday, he said that the doctors had endorsed Museveni for another term considering how he had sanitized the health sector and managed to increase doctors’ pay. The action sparked an outburst on social media with both medics and non-medical workers condemning the doctor’s action.
Dr Leonard Mutebi, the President of the Uganda Medical Interns United, a faction of medical interns, said since the incident, there has been an ongoing poll among doctors groups who are now signing a petition to have the doctor censored for breaching the principle that the professional body is not supposed to engage in partisan politics.
On the eve of the event, Mutebi says Oledo’s mobilisers were asking colleagues to join them in Kololo as they targeted to have 50 medical students attend. The benefits of attending, he says, were among others, touring the airfield, taking pictures with the president and a small facilitation.
While outbursts continue, UMA is not yet committed to what its next course of action is.
“UMA NEC remains committed to the mandate given to it by all its members and requests the medical fraternity and the public whom U.M.A serves to keep calm as our internal systems handle this matter with utmost care”, the statement which is signed by both the Vice President Edith Nakku -Joloba and Luswata reads.
However, Dr Mukuzi Muhereza, the former General Secretary said that going forward, the association needs to do a thorough vetting of who they give the mantle to lead them. He said while they don’t discourage medical workers from having political affiliations, they need a leader who doesn’t mix politics with professional work as UMA is a professional association.
Mukuzi advises that President Oledo should have already come out to issue an apology. Otherwise, he says their constitution allows them to take various actions to reprimand a leader which includes censure.
The Uganda Medical Association has 7,000 members across the country and they will need a general meeting where members agree to reprimand someone.