Former Mulago Hospital director remanded to Luzira

Court -->
Former Mulago Hospital director remanded to Luzira
Dr Byarugaba Baterana

Dr Byarugaba and his colleagues are accused of abuse of office and causing financial loss of more than Shs6 billion.

The Anti-Corruption Court has charged and remanded former Mulago Hospital executive director Bonaventura Byarugaba Baterana to Luzira Prison.

Dr Byarugaba was jointly charged with six other former top administrators at the national referral hospital - including Eng Edward Kataha, the former head engineering department, Mr Ponziano Nyeko, former head of accounts, and Charles Mwasa, former senior accountant.

The accused persons return to court on Monday, June 24 to hear their bail applications.

Dr Byarugaba and his colleagues are accused of abuse of office and causing financial loss of more than Shs6 billion.

Dr Byarugaba is also accused of irregularly causing the double payment of Shs186 million to Setramanco International Ltd for the alleged supply and fixing of molten blankets, guiding tapes and conveyor belt.

The same contract was previously awarded to Convention World Limited and paid for by Mulago Hospital.

Dr Byarugaba was interdicted in 2022 by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, following his arrest by the State House Health Monitoring Unit.

In April this year, President Museveni replaced him with his former deputy, Dr Rosemary Kusaba Byanyima.

The embattled hospital administrators are joined in the dock by the proprietors Setramaco International Ltd and Convention World Ltd, were arraigned before Anti-Corruption Court Magistrate Abert Asiimwe on charges of abuse of office and causing financial loss.

Robert Wasike and Catherine Nabwire are shareholders of Setramaco International Ltd and Convention World Ltd, the companies that were contracted to provide services to Mulago Hospital.

Court says Byarugaba and his co-accused, all deployed at Mulago National Referral Hospital, in abuse of their authority of their respective offices, flouted payment procedures when they irregularly processed payment of Shs3 billion to Setramaco International Ltd and Convention World Ltd.

The payment was for the supply of consumables to be used in routine servicing and repair of large-size sterilisation equipment of an alleged capacity of 1500 litres, which never existed at the said hospital.

"During the years 2019 and 2020, Byarugaba, Mwasa and Kataha flouted payment procedures when they irregularly processed payment of Shs3 billion to Setramaco International Limited, purporting to be payment for the supply of consumables to be used in routine servicing and repair of large size sterilisation equipment," the charges read.

Mr Okware's procurement deputy, Adah Kamucunguzi, is also facing the charges for flouting procurement procedures when a total of Shs7.5 billion was paid to Setramaco for repair of autoclaves at Old Mulago, Kawempe and Kiruddu hospital.

The accused persons denied all the charges, denying any knowledge of the money in question.

The court also noted that Wasike and Nabwire used their companies Setramaco International Ltd and Convention World Ltd a number of times to invoice Mulago for services they never received and double invoicing in some instances.

The court issued criminal summons to Mr Nyeko, Mwasa and Perez Batanda, an assistant engineer who did not appear in court, ordering them to appear on Monday.

“The seven accused persons present in court that have taken a plea are accordingly remanded until then, and criminal summons are issued against those who are absent and should endeavor to attend court without fail,” said Asiimwe, the presiding magistrate.

Court told the accused that although it is their right to apply for bail, it was not possible due to the time required to process their application and decided to remand them while their lawyers prepared the necessary documentation for the bail hearing when they return to court on Monday.

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