What you need to know:
- “There is a witch-hunt in this arrest. There are very many health workers who are not working but they have not been arrested,” Mr Musila who is also Member of Parliament Bubulo East said.
- He further mentioned that his son had refused to refund the money.
Officials from the State House Health Services Monitoring Unit arrested an enrolled nurse and an ambulance driver from Bugobero Health Centre IV in Manafwa District on July 11 for chronic absenteeism.
Mr. Collins Karugaba, who heads the investigations team at the State House Health Monitoring Unit, confirmed the arrests.
He identified the health workers as Mr Isaac Musila, an enrolled nurse who had been absent from duty for four months, and Samson Masaba, the ambulance driver who had been absent for seven months without a valid reason.
“They have been earning a free salary after absconding duty. We have directed them to refund back the money they have received,” Senior Superintendent of Police Karugaba said.
According to Mr Karugaba the driver has also been accused of vandalising the health centre ambulance.
Ms Sarah Kakai, a resident, told Monitor that they have been complaining to Manafwa district authorities and their local leaders about organised absenteeism in health facilities but nothing was done..
“If there is disciplinary action it could start with Health Centre In-charges for failure to report staff absenteeism or abscondment from duty hence causing unnecessary human resource gaps at health facilities,”Ms Kakai said.
According to the public service standing orders, if a government staff member is absent from duty for 14 days, their name should be removed from the payroll or their salary should be suspended.
Attempts to obtain comments from the suspects were unsuccessful. However, Mr. John Musila, the father of enrolled nurse Isaac Musila, confirmed his son's arrest.
“There is a witch-hunt in this arrest. There are very many health workers who are not working but they have not been arrested,” Mr Musila who is also Member of Parliament Bubulo East said.
He further mentioned that his son had refused to refund the money.
In May 2023, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Namisindwa, Mr. Imran Muluga, directed medical officers to provide statements at Namisindwa Central Police station due to allegations of habitual absenteeism and lateness.
The State House Health Services Monitoring Unit was established by President Museveni to uncover and address the challenges and issues plaguing the country's health sector.