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No, Uganda didn’t revoke Covid-19 cash relief and prime minister didn’t tweet about it

A screenshot of a tweet posted on Facebook claims Uganda’s prime minister Robinah Nabbanja has said a Covid pandemic cash relief plan is not going ahead.

The tweet, which appears to have been published on 2 July 2021, reads: “In light of the statistical updates from the [Ministry of Health] which shows a significant reduction of the covid cases, we are revising our decision of giving out cash relief to the vulnerable as earlier intended. The [Office of the Prime Minister] finds it vital to abandon the entire plan into crucial projects.”

The screenshot is posted with a critical caption, which ends: “Anyone with a sane mind who still supports NRM and President Museveni you need to go for a head checkup.”

Data from CrowdTangle, Facebook’s public insights tool, shows that the screenshot was shared widely in public groups. Other individual users also posted it widely on personal Facebook accounts.

On 19 June, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni re-imposed a 42-day lockdown to try to control the spread of Covid-19. He also offered cash relief to people whose income would be impacted by the lockdown.

The ministry of labour and social development published a list of the beneficiaries on 29 June. 

But did the government change its mind while the country was still locked down, and was this communicated in a tweet from the prime minister? We checked. 

Tweet_False

‘Fake post from fake account’

The prime minister’s office turned to Twitter on 2 July to warn the public that the tweet circulating on social media was fake. The office shared the widely screenshot, but stamped it “FAKE. IGNORE. LIES”.

The prime minister’s office pointed out the Twitter handle in the screenshot was also “fake” and not the official account of Nabbanja. The misleading handle is @RobinahNabbanj1, whereas the PM’s real handle is @RobinahNabbanja.

The impostor account was created in June 2021, whereas Nabbanja’s account was created in June 2016. 

The widely circulated screenshot of a tweet is from a fake account.

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