Mubende officials arrested over state of maternity ward

Mubende officials arrested over state of maternity ward
The state of maternity ward at Kibaliinga Health Centre III

CRIME | The State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) has arrested Mubende District officials over neglect of duty leading to loss of taxpayer money.

The District Health Officer, Mr John Bosco Ssendikaddiwa, and District Engineer in charge of buildings John Bosco Kamya, together with the head of engineers, are accused of neglecting the construction of a maternity ward at Kibaliinga Health Centre III.

The charges says the neglect resulted in shoddy work of which the roofing was not completed and the beds in the ward were left to rust which may cause harm to patients.

Mothers in the ward showed disappointment to the government saying the facility is not conducive for them to give delivery from.

"We are not comfortable with this ward because it's not well constructed and during night the coldness is much and it is full of mosquitoes," says Joelia Nakiyovu, a patient.

Other women said they are forced travel long distances seeking proper medication because the state in which the hospital is in scares them stiff.

"The hospital can even add other diseases to us, that's why some times we don't come here for medication," says Margaret Nanyonjo, a resident of Kibaliinga Sub-county.

The maternity ward at Kibaliinga Health Centre III

Dr George Ndagijimaana, the in-charge of Kibaliinga Health Centre III, admitted the state of the maternity ward has led to many women shunning the facility.

"When a mother comes to deliver from this facility and look at the state of maternity ward, they lose hope and ending up going to near by facilities and this affects us," says Dr Ndagijimaana said.

He added that this facility has taken more than one and half years while this condition and they have been raising concerns to district authorities but all in vain. " Non of the leaders didn't know about our concerns but they have all kept deaf ears and our prayer is to complete the ward for enable us working in a good environment".

Mr Richard Nsenga, a councillor for Kibaliinga Sub-county, welcomed the arrest of the officials, saying they had variously reached out to the officials but none cared.

Nsenga told Nile Post that the DHO had again sought Shs20 million to complete the ward, bringing the total expenditure on the facility to Shs53 million.

"The DHO has been using this facility to earn because the budgeted Shs30m did nothing and now they have allocated more money on the same, which is total corruption and they deserve to be imprisoned until they refund the money," he added.

Mr Emmanuel Bunya, SHACU media coordinator, said the officials would be charged with neglect of duty.

He said their conduct led to mismanagement of public funds.

"We are still in Mubende for investigations because we realised that many projects are not progressing so let those arrested serve as an example [to others]," Mr Bunya said.

Bunya said DHO Ssendikaddiwa was signed as the project manager but he did not take time supervise the work done at the facility.

He said Ssendikaddiwa will be charged with abuse of office and neglect of duty resulting in loss of government funds.

The three officials are held being at Mubende Central Police Station.

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