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Naguru Hospital Officials Present Contradicting Documents to PAC

Officials from China-Uganda Friendship Hospital, Naguru have left legislators baffled after submission of two different documents in response to queries raised by the Auditor General, John Muwanga.
Naguru Hospital Director, Dr. Emmanuel Batibwe with Regina Mugisa, the Hospital’s Principal Administrator (on the left) and Jacqueline Sandra Ongom, the hospital Principal Human Resource Officer (in the middle).

Audio 7

Officials from China-Uganda Friendship Hospital, Naguru on Wednesday left Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) puzzled after submission of two different documents in response to queries raised by the Auditor General, John Muwanga.

Led by the Hospital Director, Dr Emmanuel Batibwe, the officials appeared before PAC to answer to audit queries raised in the Auditor General’s reports for financial years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.

Batibwe appeared with Regina Mugisa, the Hospital’s Principal Administrator, Jacqueline Sandra Ongom, the hospital Principal Human Resource Officer, Siraj Isabirye, the Hospital Head of Accounts and Yonas Oboth the Hospital Administrator.

Before the committee could receive responses from the officials in regard to audit queries raised in the financial year 2016/2017 report, PAC Vice Chairperson Okin P.P Ojara noted that his committee had received two different statements of Accounts from the hospital in regard to the queries and signed by different people.

He sought guidance from Batibwe on which document to follow since one had been signed by him and another by the former Hospital Accounting Officer Regina Mugisa, currently the Principal Administrator of the facility.

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A visibly confused Batibwe requested the committee to consider the document signed by him.

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Mugisa acknowledged that she had signed one of the documents before handing over office to Batibwe two years ago.

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Amidst confusion, Kalungu West MP Joseph Sewungu pinned the hospital officials for trying to mislead the committee. He said that the hospital was last year required to avail the committee their statement of accounts but failed.

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Siraje Isabirye, the Hospital Head of Accounts told the committee that the document signed by Mugisa was a draft document and that the one signed by Dr Batibwe is the authentic document. This submission was rubbished by PAC Vice Chairperson Okin Ojara who said that a draft can never be signed and that his committee does not accept such a response.

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Fredrick Angura, the Tororo South MP described the situation as unfortunate that the hospital leadership is submitting two different accounts to the committee. He suggested that the officials are given time to put their house in order.

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Robert Kasule Ssebunya, the Nansana Municipality MP agreed with Angura but insisted that the committee maintains the different documents submitted by the committee with a view of comparing the contents with the fresh explanation they are to submit on return.

Ojara ruled that the hospital management provides an explanation to the committee about the different statements of accounts for the financial year 2016/2017 on Tuesday afternoon and also provide the final document if any.

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Some of the queries raised by the Auditor General against Naguru hospital in the financial year 2016/2017 are stock-outs of essential drugs, failure to record dispensed medical supplies, shortfall in Non-Tax Revenue (NTR), absence of the hospital management board, poor state of the maternity ward and others.