Nandala Mafabi Defends Ministry of Health’s Handling of Lubowa Hospital Funds, Highlights Parliament’s Role in Approving Funds

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Nathan Nandala Mafabi, MP for Budadiri West on the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) ticket, and also the Secretary General of FDC Najjanakumbi faction, has come to the defense of the Ministry of Health regarding the controversy surrounding Lubowa hospital funds. Mafabi believes that all the blame should not be solely placed on the Ministry, but rather shared with parliament for its role in approving the funds.

Speaking on April 11, 2024, Mafabi shed light on the series of events that led to the approval of the funds for Lubowa Hospital. He disclosed that the proposal had been rejected three times prior to its eventual approval. However, on the day of the approval, members of parliament were assured that the hospital would effectively reduce the need for citizens to seek medical treatment abroad, thereby urging the Ministry of Finance to allocate the required funds.

“We should not lump all the blame on the mess at Lubowa only the Ministry of Health, parliament too carries the blame on how the money for Lubowa was approved, the day we passed the money for Lubowa we had refused it three times and I am eager to get the real report because we were told people would not be going out of the country for treatment but would get at the hospital,” Mafabi said.

His remarks came following the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament’s directive to George Otim, the Commissioner of Health Infrastructure at the Ministry of Health, to make a statement at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Otim disputed the Auditor General’s report, which claimed that the Ministry had no access to the Lubowa site and had made excessive payments amounting to Ugx. 286 Billion.

Mafabi further expressed concerns about the regular approval of supplementary budgets in parliament without proper scrutiny of previous funds and achievements.

“I am deeply interested in this project and the manner in which we approved the funds. It was done in the wrong way, with people simply taking the money,” said Mafabi.

In response to these revelations, members of parliament on PAC have declared that they will conduct an inspection of the construction works at Lubowa on Monday, April 15, 2024. This visit is part of the ongoing investigation prompted by the Auditor General’s report, which exposed an excess payment of Ugx. 286 billion for the construction progress made at the site.

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