The Executive Director of Mulago Hospital Dr Baterena Byaruhanga could only afford an apology after legislators on Public Accounts Committee (PAC) squeezed him over making advance payments of 228 million shillings to individual accounts.
PAC lead Counsel and Pallisa County MP Jacob Opolot tasked Byaruhanga to explain why he overlooked the Treasury accounting instructions and risked the tax payers’ money.
The Mulago director asked the MPs to be lenient with him, apologizing and vowed never to commit the same mistake.
The moneys were sent to individuals who manned activities like medical camp, surgical camp, International Nurse Day, and International mid wives day among others.
Jinja Municipality East MP Paul Mwiru questioned the confidence of the hospital director, saying it could have been a conduit to steal money. He wondered why the money wasn’t paid to the service providers instead of sending it to an individual’s account.
Byaruhanga was also tasked to produce evidence of punitive action taken on a Mulago officer who connected the neighbourhood of Mulago on its main water channel leading to arrears of 4.7 billion shillings.
In his defence, the Hospital director said the officer had been referred to his bosses in the Ministry of Health.
The committee was furnished with government’s commitment to offsetting 4 billion shillings Mulago owes National Water and Sewerage Corporation and 4.8 billion shillings it owes to power distributor, Umeme.
In order to avoid accruing new arrears, Byaruhanga said, the hospital had instructed all institutions under it to meet their own bills.