Fight Erupts Between Rukungiri Municipality and District for Government Ambulance Ownership

The official documents from the Ministry accessed by our reporter orders the Chief Administrative and District Health Officers to take charge of the new Toyota Land Cruiser ambulance registration number UG 6825M.
Ambulance Document part 1.

A comical drama happened on the weekend at Rukungiri district local government headquarters as Rukungiri District and Municipal leaders totally failed to agree on who should own the new Ambulance that was donated to them by the Ministry of Health under emergency medical services.Although there was no dispute that the ambulance is supposed to serve the people, it is the ownership that ignited the bitter dispute.

The official documents from the Ministry accessed by our reporter orders the Chief Administrative and District Health Officers to take charge of the new Toyota land cruiser Ambulance registration number UG 6825M.

According to the Ministry, the Ambulance is supposed to be placed at selected Ambulance spots within the health sub districts but linked to the regional level.

The document also indicates that this Ambulance should be Community based rather than for the emergency cases. Some members of the community credit its acquisition to the Rukungiri Municipality Member of Parliament, but others say the process was already at hand before Rutahigwa was voted the area MP. 

The handover function that started well later turned sour when Elias Byamungu, the Chief Administrative Officer Rukungiri district revealed that the district will take full control of this Ambulance at Rukungiri health center 4 in Western division Rukungiri municipality.

Byamungu added that there is no single sentence or writing that indicates that the municipality should have any control on the Ambulance, vowing,  "So we shall own it weather they want or not!”

The Municipal team led by Charles Makuru, that Mayor Rukungiri municipal council opposed Byamungu’s declaration, based on the assumption that the Ambulance should be under their control if their legislator was behind the process of lobbying for it for his people.

“The Ambulance is ours because our area MP was behind the lobbying of it, so we should own it instead of you,” Makuru said.

Shortly after Byamungu intervened and noted that the donated Ambulance will be commanded by the District Health Officer not the Municipality but it’s operations will include serving the Municipality as well.

Hon Elisa Rutahigwa, the Rukungiri municipality MP who was in attendance noted that the ambulance will help both district and municipality since it’s meant  to respond to all health related emergencies.

“There isn’t any reason as to why you should fight because this Ambulance is meant for all of us," Rutahigwa said. "What you should know is that it will serve the district and the municipal community so let us co-operate and see how we can use it effectively such that it fulfills the reasons for it’s donation instead of fighting.”

Christine kyomuhangi,  the Rukungiri assistant district health officer, hailed the Ministry of Health for considering them because it has been long overdue especially during this COVID-19 period when Ambulance services are highly needed.

However, at the end, the fight ended in the favor of district leadership who took full control of the  Ambulance based on the documents that accompanied the it.

Other in attendence were Hon. Medius Natukunda Kaharata, the Rukungiri District Woman MP, Hon. Naboth Namanya of Rubabo county and Geoffrey Kyomukama, the Rukungiri District chairperson.


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