By our Reporter.
Eric Olum, the Internal Auditor Moroto Regional Referral Hospital is drawing salaries from two government institutions, according to the State House Anti- Corruption Unit.
Olum draws another salary from Arua Regional Referral Hospital where he also serves as an internal auditor. This came to limelight on Tuesday in a meeting convened by the State House Anti- Corruption Unit led by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema.
Oluma’s case came to limelight following a number of allegations of financial impropriety at Moroto Regional Referral Hospital. The team is investigating cases where the hospital management spent Shillings 12 million on a staff leaving the hospital in darkness.
There are also allegations that the hospital spent Shillings 20 million on a football match when there were shortages at the hospital like fuel for the ambulance. Other issues include withholding salaries of new staff to compel them to pay kickback.
These and other issues were expected in the internal audit report from the hospital, which according to Nakalema’s unit wasn’t done by the officer. It was also alleged that the hospital procurement processes were not followed especially on the repair of one car at Shillings 14 million and recruitment of relatives without passing through the Health Service Commission.
Some of the staff were said to be working without contracts, which put the role of the Internal Auditor under the spotlight. Nakalema said that while the officer was drawing two salaries, he was ineffective in his roles and responsibilities. The Principal Hospital Administrator of Arua Regional Referral Hospital, Michael Odur couldn’t be reached for comment as he neither picked nor returned calls from our reporter.
Although Oluma is among the officers being investigated by the unit, it is not clear which hospital Oluma is officially deployed to work in. Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Health told our reporter on phone that he is not aware of such deployments, which he noted were illegal.
“Those hospitals have accounting officers and each of them should explain why they chose to work with one officer in the audit. First of all, sharing of staff and double pay of salaries is illegal and requires serious action from the accounting officers of respective hospitals”, he said.
By Wednesday evening, seven employees of Moroto Regional Referral Hospital were still writing statements with police after spending a night in custody. Nakalema ordered the arrest and investigation of the Principal Hospital Administrator, Godfrey Mawa, Senior Hospital Administrator, James Otim, Human Resource Officer, Denis Katinda, Procurement Officer, Ronald Opio, Hospital Accountant, Joyce Faleya and Dr. Phillip Akunguru.
Others were the Officer in Charge Criminal Investigations in Moroto district, Judith Nantale and four Moroto district officials