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Mukono Covid-19 taskforce declines to operationalize party branded ambulances

Hanifah Nabukeera’s ambulance is at the center of controversy in Mukono. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mukono district Covid-19 taskforce has declined to operationalize ambulances donated by politicians bearing their pictures and political party colours. The taskforce reached the decision after Mukono District Health Officer-DHO Steven Mulindwa informed the members that the District Woman Member of Parliament Hanifah Nabukeera had donated an ambulance to ease emergence responses and referral of Covid-19 patients.

He asked the task force to operationalize the ambulance to play its role. In her response, Fatumah Ndisaba, the Mukono Resident District Commissioner who also doubles as the COVID-19 taskforce chairperson guided that such donations can only be put to use by government entities once the donors accept to go through the right process that require them to surrender documents of ownership to the Chief Administrative Officer-CAO and free them of any political party brands.

The Chief Administrative Officer, James Nkata agreed. He explained that the district can only take over the ambulance and provide a driver, medical attendants and fuel once the donor fully surrenders it. Nabukeera says that she is still seeking answers from the task force, saying she handed over all the documents they are asking for to the DHO.

Other members of parliament in Mukono district such as Fred Ssimbwa of Nakifuma and Abudallah Kiwanuka of Mukono North have also purchased ambulances following a loud outcry from patients facing a challenge of movement.

Other MPs including Betty Nambooze of Mukono Municipality and the former Mukono South MP, Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga who earlier on purchased ambulances for their constituencies decided to maintain them and pay the drivers. However, they lack medical personnel to assist patients but can pick and transport them to health facilities.

Their ambulances are painted in the colours of the National Unity Platform, carry the donor’s pictures and that of their party president Robert Kyagulanyi. Ssimbwa says that he is ready to officially hand over the ambulance to the district provided its branding does not change.

George William Ssemakula, a resident of Nabuti cell in Mukono Central Division has asked the RDC to stop politicizing the issue of the ambulance and appreciate the decision by the legislators to hand over the ambulances. He advises her to overlook the branding, saying that it has nothing to do with service delivery which is key.

Mukono district still faces a challenge of lack of stable means of handling patients especially those referred for further management from rural sub counties.



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