KAMPALA – The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwiine, did not misuse funds meant for Kayunga Hospital but diverted it into more tangible projects that saved the government financial losses.
In a statement, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, senior public relations officer at MoH, said the “missing Shs4.8 billion” was instead reallocated to cater for projects where the government had an obligation of fulfilling its counterpart funding.
“The accounting officer used her discretion to reallocate funds to save government financial loss that could have come up in form of litigation,” Ainebyoona said.
He did not elaborate on the nature of the ligation cited in the statement and how diverting money meant for construction of a surgical centre at Kayunga Hospital could have saved the government from incurring financial losses.
PML Daily has contacted Ainebyoona for the clarification and the MoH spokesperson said the ministry would avail full breakdown of how the funds were utilised on Friday (tomorrow).
PS Atwiine and Undersecretary Ronald Ssegawa Gyagenda were on Thursday morning handed over to Parliament Police Criminal Investigations Directorate for further interrogation after failing to convince members of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of how the missing funds were used.
Ainebyoona said the PS and her Undersecretary had recorded a statement and been left to return to their duties.
He said the besides Kayunga Hospital, other projects where the funds were diverted include Yumbe Hospital refurbishment project, Mulago Hospital and Mulago Women and Neonatal Hospital.
“We saved money from accrued interests and litigation costs,” Ainebyoona said.
“When the government over commits in agreements and fails to meet its counterpart funding, this puts projects in jeopardy. This has nothing to do with misuse or embezzlement. What the money was used for is there and can be seen.”
He said the ministry was “proud” that despite the financial hardships, the responsible officers worked with what they had to do more by using funds efficiently “as opposed to being left idle.”