I watched my TV in awe this week, as a team of youthful citizens from Kanungu, addressed the press on the trending misappropriation allegations of over 700 million funds meant for the renovation of Kambuga hospital.
It’s without a doubt that Kambuga hospital has and part of it remains dilapidated but undergoing renovation reliably in structured phases despite community appeals to have the oldest regional referral hospital refurbished to ease service delivery both in Kanungu and Rukungiri.
This is paramount because the hospital remains the only government referral hospital for the two districts which can hardly afford a sensitive medical procedure.
The story of hospital renovations is one that should attract scrutiny, therefore, Kambuga hospital, in particular, cannot be ignored, however, what is clear is that one need further inquiry on why there was a shift of the modus operendi in the renovation from the ministry to the local government at the district referral hospital renovations at Itojo, Kabale, Kitagata and Mbarara which have both received the same opportunity.
And the best person to answer this question would be the former minister of state for health, an area MP who recollects that he lobbied for the funds and alleges demand for the accountability and it’s not forthcoming from his government which has done nothing apart from the ridicule of the people.
In fact the message of worry about any possible thefts and embezzlement of the public funds is a mean judgment, the same people who are custodians of funds watch over the same being diverted simply to benefit their government interests as it’s said that one should not celebrate acquisition of funds in Uganda for public interest until its finally utilized.
My conversation with District Health Officer Steven Ssebudde and the acting hospital superintendent Steven Kasudda on the allegations indicated that these queries have been raised by the district monitoring committee headed by the resident district commissioner who by jurisdiction is in the district on behalf of the president, why should we shoot misguided missiles then?
Its trite law that calls for an audit in an unaccomplished work needs more than proving allegation to a preponderance of evidence on such an allegation so that such efforts of demand for scrutiny does not look misdirected as political missives that lack clarity and further specification.
Unlike this youthful advocacy group, I want to reason that an area MP is well-schooled in procedures of public accountability professionally and should at least best follow them to allay our fears.
Amazingly, my knowledge of both Kambuga hospital and Kanungu politics is rich and enough career correspondence which prompts me to ask in these lines and thought.
Have any efforts been directed at the accused to respond to these queries? To grant them a right to be heard, how come the RDC is not a subject of the question yet he is at the helm of the supervision of the funds? Has the area MP raised this Kambuga matter on the floor, as the Hansard could not confirm this?
This highly motivated conversation on Kambuga hospital will bear fruit when the lion comes back to tell the story about the hunt, for the award of the contract and the lobby of the funds have all be at the center of criterion controversy.
700 million Ugandan taxpayer money is not pocket change to be swept under the carpet in your living rooms it’s clear to a layman how the rage that is unfolding will likely end, this is why I choose to write my mind in the meantime.
There are enough outcries on health service delivery in Ugandan rural communities with rampaging maternal mortality that these hospitals could have handled besides a shortage of unmotivated health staff.
Arans Tabaruka is a community rights advocate with IRUCE