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Kagame sacks Diane Gashumba coronavirus
Rwanda’s Kagame sacks health minister for mishandling coronavirus testing kits. File Photo

Rwanda’s Paul Kagame sacks health minister Diane Gashumba for mishandling coronavirus testing kits

Sources in Rwanda indicate that President Paul Kagame has fired the country’s health minister Diane Gashumba over allegations of mishandling of coronavirus testing kits.

In a statement dated Sunday 16th, Kagame accused several of them including the ex-health minister Diane Gashumba of lying, carelessness and indiscipline thus culminating into her facing the sack.

While speaking at the National Leaders’ Retreat, President Kagame implied that Gashumba lied to him about the availability of kits to test individuals for the deadly Coronavirus, Covid-19.

“One morning, I called one of the leaders and the Prime Minister about the Coronavirus and asked that they examine each one of us ahead of the Leader’s Retreat. I told them to tell the minister of health to ensure this,’’ Kagame implied.

Kagame sacks Diane Gashumba coronavirus
Rwanda’s Kagame sacks health minister for mishandling coronavirus testing kits. File Photo

Upon his interview with the health minister, Kagame pinpointed that she told him that the country had already 3,500 kits and in case they used 400 of them to test leaders it would seriously use up the total number of kits available.

“She responded that we have 3,500 kits and that using 400 of them to test leaders would seriously deplete the number of kits we have. The person I sent told her that the message is instruction and that if she has objections she should call me.’’

Kagame who had remained confident in the minister’s advice later discovered that the kits talked about by the health minister were extremely few only enough to accommodate 95 people.

“Later we discovered that we do not have the kits as she said. We have kits for only 95 people and not 3,500. I asked her about this and she started giving excuses in a long story. You leaders, you cannot even speak the truth; how do you expect to solve problems?” President Kagam

Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronavirus broke out first in the Chinese city of Wuhan on January 7, 2020, and since then, many cases have been reported in several other Asian countries, Europe and the United States.

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The virus has no cure or vaccine and is currently being treated using supportive measures. On Sunday 16th, authorities in China reported 2,009 new cases and 142 more deaths nationwide.

In total, more than 68,000 people have been infected in China, with the death toll standing at 1,665. Outside China, there have been more than 500 cases in nearly 30 countries. World Health Organisation (WHO) who recently declared it a public health emergency of international dimensions. 

By John Dalton Kigozi