MP In the Dock Over 1.7 Billion Shillings

2228 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Patrick Isiagi, Kachumbala County MP, was today grilled by fellow legislators after it emerged that during his tenure at Mulago National Referral Hospital as commissioner of accounts, he diverted about 1.7 billion shillings meant for medical expenses for hospital equipment, to cater for night allowances and construction of staff houses.

Members of Parliament on the Public Accounts Committee today turned their guns on one of their own over mischarge of funds for Mulago Hospital.

Patrick Isiagi, Kachumbala County MP, was today grilled by fellow legislators after it emerged that during his tenure at Mulago National Referral Hospital as commissioner of accounts, he diverted about 1.7 billion shillings meant for medical expenses for hospital equipment, to cater for staffs' night allowances and construction of staff houses.
 
Isiagi appeared before the committee with the administration of Mulago led by Dr. Byarugaba Baterana, to answer queries in the Auditor General's Report of 2013/14 financial year. He was accosted by MPs including vice chairperson Gerald Karuhanga, who accused Isiagi of lack of professionalism.
 
//Cue In: "Mulago hospital...
Cue Out:...equipment?"//

However, Isiagi, who was forced to take oath defended himself, explaining that the funds were diverted to avoid an impasse in operations of the hospital in situations where staff was not paid and would have laid down their tools yet government took months without releasing funds.
 
//Cue In: "Once an activity...
Cue Out:...sick people."//
 
The Mulago administration was also tasked to explain why they have failed to recover 1.2 billion shillings from private companies. 

Some of the companies which owe Mulago include Vision Group, Bank of Uganda, Sheraton Hotel and Ministry of Defence, among others. Committee chairperson Angelina Osege  wondered why Mulago complains of lack of funds yet it has failed to collect debts from the companies.
 
//Cue In: "We should never...
Cue Out:...budgeted for."//
 
Dr. Baterana, however, says while the patients received treatment, the entities have agreed that they will pay the monies soon.
 
//Cue In: "Weeks ago...
Cue Out:...no."//

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.