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VHTs Besiege Masaka RDC's Offices Over Allowances

According to the contract, the VHTs were meant to receive 10,000 shillings for the two days in addition to meals and transport allowances. However, the VHTs claims that they didn’t receive their money.
Angry VHTs waiting to see Masaka RDC over allowances

Audio 2

Dozens of disgruntled Village Health Team Volunteers in Masaka besieged the office of the Resident District Commissioner on Tuesday morning demanding her intervention to investigate circumstances under which, Ministry of Health Officials swindled their allowances for the mosquito distribution exercise. It all started on Monday evening after more than 200 Village Health Team Volunteers took the streets accusing Sarah Mayanja, an official from Ministry of health who is in charge of the Malaria consortium in greater Masaka region and Dinah Kakande, an official from Masaka District Health Department for swindling their allowances.

 

The VHT members were recently contracted to distribute insecticide treated mosquito nets in Masaka district. According to the contract, the VHTs were meant to receive 10,000 shillings for the two days in addition to meals and transport allowances. However, the VHT members claims that they didn’t receive their money. This morning the VHT members stormed Chrissy Owor Odoi, the Masaka RDC who was the focal person for the mosquito nets distribution exercise to investigate what happened to their money. Operatives from the District Internal Security Office-DISO unsuccessfully attempted to block the VHTs from accessing the RDC’s office.

 

Led by Swaibu Sulayiti Suulambaya, a patient rights activist, the Village Health Team Volunteers demanded the arrest of all officials implicated for swindling their allowances. Suulambaaya says that in addition to failure to give them their allowances, he wants the RDC to investigate health officials for embezzling money meant to pay community radio announcers to sensitize residents.  He claims that many people missed out on the nets and they were returned to Kampala.

 



 

// Cue in: “ Abamu Mobilization teyabadewo…

Cue out: …Kampala ne Dinah.”//

Gerald Ssebuliba,  a resident of Sazza says despite the fact that they are volunteers, Ministry of Health Officers wouldn’t have promised to pay them if there was no money.  Ssebuliba says they deserve the allowances because some of them have developed infections because of spending long hours distributing the nets. Ssebuliba claims that he and seven others have developed itchy rashes on their bodies as result of distributing treated mosquito nets without protective gear.

 

 68- year- old George William Mukasa also a VHT from Sazza says the same officials cheated them of their allowances during the registration exercise. He explains that they were entitled to 8000 shillings each day. Mukasa wants the RDC to summon health minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda to explain why they are not being paid their allowances.

Mukasa explains in Luganda.

// Cue in: “ Era ekintu kino…

Cue out: …nga tukola nenjala.”//

Odoi Owor, the Masaka RDC has promised to investigate the grievances by the VHT members adding that, he intends to summon all the implicated officials to hear their side of the story. He says if found true that they embezzled the allowance they will be forced to refund it. Sarah Mayanja one of the officials accused of swindling the allowances insists that she paid all the VHT members.

She claims that each of the VHT member received 5000 shillings on Friday for their work in the mosquito nets distribution exercise.