By Ivan Mwine
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health has Thursday interdicted the Executive Director of the Mulago National Referral Hospital Dr. Byaruhanga Baterana, who was on Tuesday arrested by the State House Health Monitoring Unit over allegations of corruption.
Dr. Baterana interdiction becomes effective following a letter titled ‘INTERDICTION FROM DUTY she wrote dated March 3, 2022, which she copied to the Minister of Health, Secretary, Health Service Commission, Secretary to the Treasury, Auditor General, State House Health Monitoring Unit, Deputy Executive Director Mulago National Referral Hospital and the Commissioner, Human Resource Management at the Ministry of Health.
Dr. Atwine’s letter reads in part thus; “You are well aware that there are ongoing criminal investigations instituted by the State House Health Monitoring Unit against yourself involving acts of financial impropriety and abuse of office allegedly committed by virtue of your office in the Financial Years 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.
It has been brought to my attention that you have been charged by Police with the following offences vide CID HQTRS E/363/2021:
- Abuse of office contrary to Section 11 of the Anti-Corruption Act (2009)
- Embezzlement contrary to Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption (2009)
- Causing financial loss contrary to Section 20 of the Anti-Corruption Act (2009)
- Fraudulent false accounting contrary to Section 23 of the Anti-Corruption Act (2009)
Pursuant to Section F-s and F-r of the Public Service Standing Orders, 2021, you are hereby interdicted from duty to pave way for investigations and you will receive half pay with immediate effect until the charges against you have been cleared.”
The letter also states that; “You are hereby commanded to handover your work and office to the Deputy Director Dr. Rosemary Byanyima in accordance with Section F-d (4) of the Public Service Standing Orders and keep away from your duty station until you are advised otherwise. During the period of interdiction, you shall not leave the country without my written permission…”
Besides the corruption allegations that revolve around Dr. Baterana’s failure to account for over Shs28Bn government funds, he is also being investigated over circumstances under which two pharmacies, to wit, Eco Pharmacy and First Pharmacy secure rental space at Mulago Hospital, yet they have not been paying rent for several years.