The Health Ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine has given assurance to the public that 29 billion shillings which was donated in cash by the members of the private sector to fight COVID-19 is well kept.
Atwine was rubbishing reports that the money had been stolen.
“We received money from the private sector. We have a law in the country that guides how we manage all the resources that we receive through donation,” said Atwine while appearing on NBS TV’s Spotlight Ug program on Monday night.
She said that the Public Finance Management Act gives the Government Institutions, the mechanism of taking back the money donated to the Consolidated Fund, and then get it revoted through supplementary release.
“We got 29 billion in cash, and this money was taken to Consolidated Account. Parliament could not sit at that time because people were in campaigns but after that, they reconvened and passed the supplementary budget.”
“That money was got, and we are actually going to start the work. We just received this money last week, and are going to buy the vehicles that were supposed to buy because that was initial purpose,” Atwine explained.
The money will also be used to put up structures for health workers especially at the border points.
“Remember that some border points lack the infrastructure, and it has been really hard for our health workers at some of the border points because they have nowhere to sleep,” said Atwine, adding that the money will also be used to put up two blood banks in Arua and Soroti.
“So, that money is intact. It is not utilized; it is not stolen as people were speculating.”
All the donations that were received for instance, at the Office of the Prime Minister, Local Government and Ministry of Health; the Permanent Secretary reassured Ugandans that they have been accounted for.
Some of the donations which were vehicles, Atwine clarified that they were deployed where they were needed the most for instance to the districts while others have been used to carry the samples all over the country to the centre.
“So, all those cars are working, and they were doing the work for which they were given. So, there is nothing that got lost, and there is no one who stole that money. I just want to array the anxiety of everyone listening,” she said.
She noted that mudslinging that the money was stolen demoralizes frontline workers fighting the pandemic.
“We don’t believe in stealing Government resources, and so, there is no way that we were entrusted with money from the private sector and then we use it for something else. That is an abomination.”