janet Museveni first jab of COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine
The vaccination for the two was done by the health ministry's permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine. FILE PHOTO

On Saturday, President Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet Museveni carried out their first shots of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine.

President Yoweri Museveni together with the First Lady, Janet Museveni on Saturday received their first jabs of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine

Museveni who was the first to rush to his social media handle to disclose the news urged all Ugandans to come out and allow to get vaccinated.

“The First Lady Janet Museveni and I got our Covid-19 vaccine today in Nakasero. I encourage all Ugandans who qualify for this vaccination to go to health facilities and get it but remember to keep observing the Standard Operating Procedures of wearing masks, washing or sanitizing hands and observing social distance,” Museveni’s tweet read.

The vaccination for the two was done by the health ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine. In a statement via her Twitter handle, Atwine commended Museveni and the First Lady for being exemplary leaders. 

Congratulations President Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni for taking the vaccine against Covid. You have been exemplary all the way,” Atwine wrote.

Their vaccination now puts an end to an earlier article published by Daily Monitor indicating that the president together with his inner circle had been vaccinated for the virus.

Monitor which referenced its article from an American newspaper- the Wall Street Journal wrote that State House received jabs of China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine even before target groups including health workers and the teachers.

The article quoted: “People close to President Museveni have reportedly received jabs of China Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine months ahead of health workers and vulnerable groups.”

However, during his Women’s Day speech on March 08, Museveni said the article was written falsely. He promised that he would make the media organization bankrupt unless they issued an apology

Weeks have passed since but Monitor is yet to issue an apology. 

Adhering to his promise, the president through his lawyers last week filed his documents seeking compensation for defaming his name.

In his letter, Museveni said that the contested article was maliciously and without due care published and placed on the same page below a factual story, “China gives Uganda 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine,” with his photograph and a visiting Chinese official. 

Museveni noted that this was meant to give more airplay to the false article. The president alleged that even after consulting his press secretary Don Innocent Wanyama and Health Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyona who dismissed the claims as false, they still went ahead and published the article with fewer facts.

Museveni’s lawyers disclosed further that the article presented their client as a dishonest man who used his position as President of the Republic of Uganda to secretly enable himself and people close to him to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, months ahead of health workers and other vulnerable groups.

Also, they said the article presented Museveni as a schemer and conspirator who engaged himself in dishonest activities of influence peddling and nepotism.

“It were understood to mean that the plaintiff has abdicated his duties and obligations to frontline health workers fighting COVID-19 and other groups that are vulnerable to the pandemic. The plaintiff cannot be trusted with the high office of the President of the Republic of Uganda,” the lawyers noted.

“The defamatory statements were widely circulated by the respondents among the public in Uganda and intentionally through the monitor online edition and the Monitor Twitter and Facebook accounts reaching millions of people to shun him.”

janet Museveni first jab of COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine
The vaccination for the two was done by the health ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine. FILE PHOTO

Going further, Museveni now wants the court to issue seven orders including one ordering Daily Monitor Publication to delete the said article online and publish an apology to him on all its platforms with the same prominence as the offending article and posts and with wordings agreed to by him in advance.

Museveni also demands the court to issue a permanent injunction restraining the media organization from publishing defamatory words ever against him. The president also seeks compensation for an unspecified amount of money for the damages imposed on him.