Infighting Impedes Utilization of Health Sector Development Funds in Sembabule

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In this financial year, the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development allocated Shillings 127.46 million for Sembabule district for its health sector development plans.
Gorreth Namugga, MP for Mawogola County speaking during a stakeholders meeting recently, she is that center of controversy on utilization of Health Sector Development Funds in Sembabule district

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A political dispute between the leaders of Sembabule district local government and Mawogola County Member of Parliament, Goreth Namugga is impeding the utilization of Health Sector Development funds. In this financial year, the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development allocated Shillings 127.46 million for Sembabule district for its health sector development plans. 

However, the district is currently stuck with the funds due to the failure of the political leaders to harmonize positions on the priority project to which, the money should be committed. While Namugga prefers that money is used to construct a new Health Centre IV in Mitte sub-county which has no government health unit, district leaders want to use it for upgrading a maternity ward at Mateete Health Center III. 

Namugga argues that acting on the community's desires, in October last year, she mobilized funds through, which she purchased 10 acres of land for the purpose of constructing a Health Centre IV for Miteete Sub County but to her disappointment, some district leaders are opposed to the idea for selfish reasons. 

She argues that despite handing over the land title to the district, the leadership is insisting on committing the money to Mateete Health Centre III even when they don’t have its land title, which contravened the government's policy of committing public funds to projects that are implemented on private land. 

According to Namugga, a section of district leaders have since opposed the generous land offer on grounds that they cannot accept a donation from an opposition MP, moreover subscribing to the National Unity Platform-NUP party. 

Amidst the growing dispute, Namugga petitioned Permanent Secretaries in the Ministries on Health, and Finance Planning and Economic Development, requesting that they block the district from spending the money on facilities constructed on private land.

In her protest letter, which was also copied to the line Ministers and Speaker of Parliament, Namugga accuses the district of making attempts to reallocate the money from its initial purpose, something that is against the common good of the communities.

“Considering the appalling and pathetic situation of health services in Mawogola County, I continue to kindly advise that the original purpose for which the funds were intended is maintained because the community made a fundraising and purchased the land,” the petition reads in part. 

But Jude Ssegayi Kiganda, the Sembabule district LC V Vice Chairperson has lashed out at the MP, accusing her of interfering with internal planning processes. He argues that the District Executive Committee considered it a priority to upgrade and remodel the existing structures at Mateete Health Center to qualify it for elevation to Health Centre IV and to expand its scope of services.

Kiganda insists that they would rather use part of the money to obtain certificates of titles for land currently hosting Mateete Health Center III other than commit it to begin construction of a new health facility in a remote area.


//Cue in: “offering land….   

Cue out: …..upgrade from such.”//  

Luganda byte    

//Cue in: “omanyi oluzigu luno…   

Cue out: ….eddala ery’emaliridde.”//  

Malik Mahaba, the Sembabule Chief Administrative Officer, says that they are in a tight fix over the conflicting opinions. He says that he is still holding onto the money pending guidance from the relevant authorities on how it should be utilized.