MP Zaake stranded in US hospital

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The MP for Mityana Municipality, Francis Zaake Butebi, is stranded in a US hospital after failing to meet costs for surgery.

Zaake went to the US late last month after he was badly injured following a fracas in Parliament on September 26. He is admitted at Mercy hospital in Minnesota.

He was one of the opposition MPs who were roughed up by security operatives at parliament after the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, suspended them.

He reportedly sustained injuries to skull. Zaake was briefly treated at Rubaga hospital before doctors referred him to the USA for further treatment.

In an interview with The Nile Post, Zaake said he needs $72,473 (Shs 260 million) to pay for specialised neurosurgeons.

However, so far, he has only been able to raise half leaving a balance of $36,000 (Shs 130 million).

He said he is due for an operation on Monday, November 13 but if he fails to get this money, the operation will be put off.

Zaake blamed parliament for failing to meet its part of the bargain as Kadaga had promised.

"Madam speaker kindly intervene, my treatment is costing a lump sum of $ 72,473.43. Please don't let me believe that all the commitment you made to me while visiting at my residence was but empty promises, i am told that my life is at stake if I don't undergo this surgery," Zaake said.

He added: "Why has the process taken a long time! God knows. I underwent diagnosis on the instruction of Uganda Medical Board for which results established that indeed I needed advanced treatment. Why don't I get my medical entitlement other than being tossed up and down!? The letter to authenticate the process is just pending signature of the health minister, Dr. [Ruth] Aceng..." he said.

Chris Obore, the director of communications at parliament, said that Zaake left before the procedure of clearing with the medical board was complete.

"The speaker is interested is seeing money wired to Hon Zaake to meet his medical costs. The process is not complete but once done , money will be sent. The speaker as the custodian of the law is cognisant of the demands of the Public Finance Management Act that even when she personally feels the money should have been wired as soon as yesterday, the legal restraints exists," Obore said.



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