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UMEME, Iganga Hospital Row over Unsettled Bills :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UMEME, Iganga Hospital Row over Unsettled Bills

Iddi Bateganya, the Iganga hospital senior administrator says the hospital gets Ugx 3 million to cover all its utility bills on a quarterly basis. This includes maintenance of cars, generators, and water, Fuel and electricity bills. According to Bateganya, the money is not enough to clear the bills which stretch to Ugx 7 Million.

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Iganga Hospital is struggling to settle Ugx 40 Million utility bills following a disconnection notice by UMEME limited, the power distributors.  The notice dated 4th December also issues a two-week ultimatum, running up to December 18th 2014, to the hospital to settle the bill.

Paul Sewava, the UMEME manager for Iganga district says this is a collective bill with many accounts meant to be cleared by government. It however has been in arrears over a long time. Uganda Radio Network has established that the bills have accumulated since 2012.

Iddi Bateganya, the Iganga hospital senior administrator says the hospital gets Ugx 3 million to cover all its utility bills on a quarterly basis.  This includes maintenance of cars, generators, and water, Fuel and electricity bills.  According to Bateganya, the money is not enough to clear the bills which stretch to Ugx 7 Million.

Dr. David Muwanguzi, the Iganga Health Officer says the district does not have a vote for utilities and may not be able to clear the bill. He however says they are engaging the ministry of health to come to their rescue.

But Steven Waako, The Iganga hospital medical director says disconnection will affect more than 600 patients received at Iganga hospital each day. The hospital theater alone treats more than 15 patients and runs machines that are powered all the time.

Olivia Kwagala Iganga district woman Member of Parliament says the matter has been presented in parliament for any possible action.

Cue in “electricity bill for…”

Cue out “…pay the money.”//

Several government hospitals including Jinja regional referral hospital are battling with unsettled utility bills arising out of delayed government funding. This has greatly affected service delivery in times when water, internet, telephone lines and electricity are disconnected.

Recently, the electricity regulatory authority warned of massive load shedding in the country if the government fails to pay arrears totaling to Ugx88.33billion owed to power distributor Umeme Ltd.

According to a letter dated 29th September 2014, Umeme withheld money to UETCL from bulk supply of electricity, to cater for its distribution costs. … The company [Umeme] again withheld Ugx26.19bn in September 2014 and further intends to withhold another Ugx17.6bn on account of failure by government ministries and departments to pay electricity bills,” the letter reads.

The Unpaid dues were from government institutions like; Ministry of Defense, Uganda Prisons Service and the Uganda Police among others.

UETCL purchases electricity from the power generators, Bujagali Energy Ltd and Eskom and sells it to Umeme, which distributor it to customers on the national grid. 

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