Minister blocks Facebook fund drive for hospital toilet

Sunday July 6 2014

By George Muzoora & Francis Mugerwa

Masindi-Masindi District authorities have blocked a fundraising drive for construction of a toilet at Masindi hospital.

The drive was started by Masindi News Network (ManeT), a facebook group with more than 4,000 members mainly from Bunyoro sub-region.

The Manet administrator, Mr Jonathan Akweteireho, a journalist-turned activist, said he rallied the members to support the drive after discovering the pit latrine at the Outpatient’s department of the government hospital had long collapsed, leaving patients without a place of convenience.

“We have been stopped from starting the construction, despite having been given the construction plan,” Mr Akweteireho said.
He said the fundraising had mobilised about Shs7 million in cash and pledges. Some members pledged physical labour.
He blames Bunyoro Affairs State minister Ernest Kiiza and the district chairman, Mr Wilson Mugimba, for turning the matter into a political issue.

Mr Kiiza said it was unrealistic to fundraise for the construction of the toilet yet government had already prioritised it and contracted a company to build it.

“They wanted to tarnish the image of government by claiming it had failed to fulfill its mandate of providing health services. As leaders, we got concerned and wondered why they were collecting the money for a facility at the hospital that government was ready to construct,” Mr Kiiza said.


However, Mr Akweteireho countered: “On Manet, we raise many issues of concern such as corruption and poor service delivery. Some politicians are running away from these facts. They are developing goose pimples of a new pro-people force.”
He said they had opened an account in Equity Bank for the fund collections after the health department gave them a nod.