Uganda: Dr Atwine indicted over Shs6 billion fraud

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KAMPALA, Uganda

Dr. Diana Atwine, the Health Ministry’s permanent secretary and Mr. Ronald Ssegawa, the undersecretary have recorded statements with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of police over their alleged unlawful expenditure of Shs6 billion.

The two were Thursday handed over to CID by the Public Accounts Committee that was chaired by Mr. Okin Ojara. 

The MPs were scrutinizing the Auditor General’s reports for the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 financial years, which queried the diversion of public resources by the Ministry of Health officials.

According to Mr. Ojara, although Parliament allocates funds according to work plans presented by the respective ministries detailing how it would be spent, the Auditor General’s reports show that Dr. Atwine and Mr. Ssegawa disbursed money ignoring the purpose for which it was provided.

According to Mr. Ojara, the committee is also investigating the possibility that the money in question could have been stolen. 

The money was meant for among other projects; the rehabilitation and expansion of Kayunga Hospital that was supposed to get a pediatric surgery unit at Shs2.2 billion.  

Other funds spent outside the budget include Shs416 million on unsupported payables, Sh172 million irregularly transferred to an Italian non-governmental organization and the payment of Shs 800 million for unexecuted works.

The committee also queried an unspent Shs3.6 billion in the last two financial years. 

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