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Your mail: Medical interns should behave

Medical interns have reportedly insisted that they will go on strike alongside established doctors if their monthly pay is not enhanced to Shs 2.5m from less than a million shillings currently.

Although I am not familiar with the terms and conditions of ‘service’ of the medical interns, including the legality of the allowances paid to them, the common understanding is that they are not yet established government employees on payroll.

Therefore, they do not have the right to demand a ‘pay rise’, aware that there is no running contract between them and the government.  The intern doctors’ strike is like a concubine suing someone’s husband because of inadequate upkeep!

We have interns and volunteers in various departments who actually provide for themselves at those places of work including transport and meals until the end of their training.

Apparently, provision of allowances to medical interns is a special privilege, certainly owing to the sensitivity of their assignments that include saving lives.

Besides, what is paid to them is not salary, but allowances, which are not mandatory, even if they were established government employees.  

Medical interns should also be reminded that internship is not just about learning practical aspects of the medical theories they acquired from universities. Evaluation during internship involves a lot of things, including observing professional ethics and other forms of discipline.

So, is going on strike part of their training? You start a strike even when you haven’t yet been engaged by the government?

What happens if you have the full right to do so under a legal body? In a normal situation, going on strike should actually render one’s internship null and void.

It is wrong, medical interns. Call off the strike and go back to work.

Bernard Odida,
Kampala.

Poor waste disposal disastrous

Climate change is a real global phenomenon that poses danger for human continuity. It, therefore,  requires everybody’s effort to restore the natural atmosphere.

Most people in our communities do irresponsible actions such as littering, improper disposal of diapers, sanitary pads and liquid wastes from homesteads which end up contaminating the environment.

Protection of the environment can’t be realized on free will, but with measures such as use of technology in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

We can also use advocacy with the purpose of including women in decision-making processes, planning, financing, gender budgeting, and policy-making.

This will encourage women’s participation at both national and international planning levels. Women are mostly engaged in farming and collecting water and firewood.

Therefore, empowering them through civic education can energize them to protect, care and be mindful of the solid and liquid wastes and how best to dispose of them.

In addition, environmental bodies and the environment police should educate and enforce laws on poor waste management that has resulted into diseases and encroachment on water catchment areas.

Uganda government denounced usage of polythene bags but, up to now, they are still in circulation. Who has failed to implement this?

Why should failure of a certain government department cause a crisis? Ugandans, let us collectively conserve and preserve the environment for the next generation.

Morris Twongeirwe,
morriskyatooko@gmail.com.

President Magufuli is going astray

If President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania joined General Yoweri Museveni to condemn the International Criminal Court, then I am about to believe those friends in Tanzania who have been telling me that man is just a masquerade in as far as fighting  impunity and corruption and ensuring justice, law and order is concerned.

I would never mind if General Museveni condemns the ICC, but I feel sickened and equally lose hope if people like Magufuli fall into a trap of the Musevenis of this world.

Yes, the ICC, like other courts, may not be fair to all, at all times, but can someone ask President Magufuli what is wrong with investigating crimes committed in Burundi or any other country?

We are here suffering with Burundian refugees and I have reasonable ground to believe that the same is true in Tanzania. These refugees are running away from murder, rape, and destruction of property, among others.  

Sadly, Magufuli has forgotten so quickly that it’s the same international community that they are lambasting which has and is still contributing to alleviation of the big problem of refugees created by criminals in countries like Burundi.

Ndugu Magufuli, you must reverse your ways and go to where you started. Otherwise, you may end up falling in the many traps by people who are themselves likely candidates of the same court.

Surely, we need those investigations, even before we can talk about the trials unless you have a plan for that in Tanzanian courts.

Bidi Halid,
Human rights campaigner.

Uganda has resources to pay doctors

When doctors went on strike, The Observer reported that the government is under siege, because it’s not only the medics protesting low pay, but prosecutors as well.

Surprisingly, according to The Observer, President Museveni warned to arrest striking civil servants! His senior press secretary told The Observer that the bottom line is the resource envelope, and that’s where I want to focus the debate.

First, many expert observers and the test of time have proved that the government lacks the capacity, competence and wisdom to lead resource-rich Uganda to the prosperity level it desires and deserves.

It, therefore, amounts to arrogance of the highest order for NRM to strive by hook or by crook to cling and impose itself on Ugandans.

Secondly, the salary increment demanded by the very useful doctors and judicial officers would not have been a problem if Uganda had a leadership that got its priorities right.

Resource-poor African countries such as Rwanda are paying their civil servants far better than Uganda. Uganda has never been short of capable leaders; please give them a chance.

Kennedy Kabonge,
kabongek@yahoo.co.uk

letters@observer.ug

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