Ssemujju questions placement of 17 nurses at State House

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Ssemujju questions placement of 17 nurses at State House
President Musebeni takes COVID jab at the height of the pandemic in 2021. It was administer Health minister PS Diana Atwine, once her private doctor

KAMPALA | Kira Municipality Member of Parliament, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, has voiced concern over the number of health workers currently employed at the State House.

During a plenary session on Friday, the legislator questioned the necessity of having 17 nurses employed by the government to provide healthcare to the President and his wife.

Ssemujju told Parliament that the current number of nurses employed at the State House is higher than the number of nurses deployed at some public health facilities in Uganda’s rural areas.

“Parliament must interest itself in the growing number of medical personnel at the State House. Article 107 of the Constitution doesn’t allow a person with physical incapacity to hold the office of the President,” he said, adding that the State House should share a medical report detailing the health condition of President Museveni.

“Seventeen nurses at The State House are too many unless they are dealing with a very big problem. We have a duty not to allow the President to establish his own medical facility at the State House,” Ssemujju said.

He further stated that the previous presidents including the late Dr Apollo Milton Obote and Gen Idi Amin Dada sought medical care at Mulago – a public facility.

Citing the law, Ssemujju said Article 107 of the Constitution does not allow a person with physical incapacity to hold the office of the President.

"State House should share a medical report with Parliament on the health of our President," he added.

While considering the Budget Framework in January, the legislators were informed that the current Intensive Care Unit at Mulago National Referral Hospital requires 28 nursing officers, against the 14 currently manning the unit.

But Ssemujju said it was as if the President was "establishing his own medical facility at State House" - to which the legislator said Parliament had a duty to stop.

The concern comes barely months after Members of Parliament led by Kalungu West Member of Parliament, Joseph Ssewungu, threatened to boycott the budget speech or SONA saying they are over tested for Covid while others demanded that the medical report for President Museveni be presented before the legislators.

However, the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among believed the demand was uncalled for or unlawful, telling Parliament that medical reports are private.

Ssemujju's comments came as he was submitting a minority report on the Budget Appropriation on Thursday. He dissected several expenditures his Shadow finance ministry found unnecessary, among them the bloated medical team attached to the Presidency.

State House pays a total of Shs58 million monthly to the 16 nurses at the President's beck and call. The highest earner, John Baptists Mpagi, is capped at Shs6m per month while the lowest, Annet Mutenga, earns Shs1.2m - according to Ssemujju's minority report.

However, the report lists only 16 nurses. It is also not immediately clear if the quoted salaries are net pay or before deductions.

Efforts to get a comment or confirmation of the numbers as reported by Ssemujju from the Presidency were futile as Mr Sandor Walusimbi ad his deputy Farouk Kirunda both would not answer our repeated calls to their mobile numbers.

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