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Construction of UGX450M ICT Laboratory at Kalongo Hospital Stalls

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Dr. Godfrey Smart Okot, the Director Dr. Ambrozoli Memorial Hospital, says the fate of the ICT laboratory remains uncertain since they lost the funds earmarked for its construction in AGARU SAACO.
Dr Godfrey Smart Okot shows Lt Col. Edith Nakalema the arctitectural design of the ICT laboraty in Kalongo Hospital Photo by Dan M. Komakech

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The proposed construction of a multimillion Information, Communication and Technology–ICT laboratory at Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital in Agago district suffered a setback following the collapse of Agago/Aruu (AGARU) SACCO branch.   

This came to the fore during a meeting between disgruntled members of the Agago/Aruu (AGARU) SACCO and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit on Monday in Kalongo town Council in Agago district.   

Speaking on behalf of the affected clients, Peter OdokWod-Ochieng revealed that 111 members attached to the SACCO’s branches in Kalongo Town Council alone had registered complaints of the alleged loss of over Shillings 1.5 billion of their savings following the collapse of AGARU SACCOs. 

Odok says Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital, Kalongo which was the biggest depositor in the Sacco lost over Shillings 800 million at the time of its closure. 

The State house Anti-Corruption Unit led by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema learnt that Shillings 450 million meant for the construction of the ICT laboratory at Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Midwifery Training was part of the over Shillings 1.5 billion that was allegedly mismanaged by the Sacco officials. 

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Dr. Godfrey Smart Okot, the Director Dr. Ambrozoli Memorial Hospital, says the fate of the ICT laboratory remains uncertain since they lost the funds earmarked for its construction in AGARU SAACO. 

He says their donors demanded that the Shillings 450 million be deposited with the nearest banking institution within the closest proximity to the project.   

Rev Sister Camel Abwoch, the principal Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital School of Nursing Midwifery Training, says the Shillings 450 million had been secured from well-wishers, donors and contributions from the savings of the health facility and nursing school.   

She says the ICT laboratory project was meant to provide computer skills to trainee midwives, staff of Kalongo Hospital, learners from nearby schools and the general public.   

James Peny-Wii Onying, the AGARU SAACOs Board Chairperson, says majority of the member’s saving was lost in loans that accrued to over Shillings 1.2 billion between 2006 and 2010.    

He says their efforts to start recover the non-performing loans haven’t yielded results since majority of the debtors have been adamant to service their loans. 

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James Onying Peny-Wii discloses that in 2018 government through the Finance Ministry pledged to offer them a grant of Shillings 1 billion, which was subsequently approved by parliament through the supplementary budget but the money hasn’t come.   

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Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, the head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit decried the manner, in which the SAACO collapsed. She faulted the administrators and managers of the financial institution for having caused the stalemate. 

Nakalema has now launched general inquiries into the matter to ensure all funds allegedly lost are recovered and the closed SACCOs braches revived. 

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The unit is investigating six officials of the Sacco including Chris Otim, the Board Treasurer, Albino Okello, the Chief finance Officer, John Mutema and Santo Okech, both managers and Christine Atim and Laiki Duscman, both former staffs.