What you need to know:
- The minister had donated the ambulance to facilitate the transportation of mothers to health centres.
The State minister for Investment and Privatisation, Ms Evelyn Anite, has withdrawn the ambulance she donated to residents of Koboko Municipality ahead of the NRM primaries last year in which she lost.
Ms Anite, who lost in the race for the municipality MP seat in September last year, had donated the ambulance to facilitate the transportation of mothers to referral hospitals and health centres to reduce maternal mortality and deliveries at homes.
The ambulance was also to help in the fight against fistula.
On September 7, she handed over the ambulance to the municipal health department and promised to pay the driver up to six months.
However, Ms Anite is said to have withdrawn the ambulance last week.
Speaking to Daily Monitor at the weekend, the municipal health inspector, Mr Joel Azabo, said the authorities have not received any formal communication from the hospital administration on why the ambulance is missing from the parking yard.
Health officials speak out
“The hospital administration has not communicated to us that they have failed to service the ambulance. The ambulance has been helping people in the district and municipality, even for referral purposes,” Mr Azabo said.
The district health officer, Dr Denis Oloya, said the ambulance is now in Kampala but denied ever handing it back to the minister.
“The allegations that we handed it back to the minister are not true,” he said. But the Koboko Municipality mayor, Mr Wilson Sanya, confirmed that the ambulance was handed back to the MP.
“I confirm that the ambulance was handed back to Anite by the district. The last time I spoke to the ambulance driver, he confirmed that it had been taken back on the minister’s orders,” he said.
Ms Anite lost the municipality MP race to Dr Charles Ayume in the NRM primaries.
During the campaigns, Ms Anite openly supported an Independent candidate, Mr Charles Yakani.
When contacted at the weekend, Ms Anite, said: “I am not a Member of Parliament for Koboko. I don’t want to answer anything to you. So do not ask me anything. I am a private citizen, so (Daily Monitor) leave me alone. I repeat, leave me alone.”
Koboko District currently has seven functional ambulances while the health centre IV in the municipality now has none.
In the NRM party primaries, Ms Anite polled 7,321 votes against Dr Ayume’s 8,089. Anite later conceded defeat but attributed it to malpractice. “I have accepted (defeat) and wish everyone the best but one of my agent’s house was set ablaze. Voters were ferried from outside Koboko and could vote as many times as possible,” she said. Prior to the election, Ms Anite had predicted a sail-through for her after declaring that she didn’t view it as a tough race. She later opted not to contest as an Independent in the January 14 election.