By Ahmed Senoga
Mulago national referral hospital Executive dDirector Dr. Byaruhanga Baterana has been interdicted from office by the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr.Diana Atwine while still in detention.
In a letter dated March,2, 2022 by Dr.Atwine, Dr. Baterana was told to step aside since there are ongoing investigations into abuse of office, embezzlement, causing financial loss and fraudulent false accounting against him.
Dr.Baterana has also been asked to hand over office to his deputy, Dr.Rosemary Byanyima but also to keep away from Mulago hospital until advised otherwise. He has further beenblocked from leaving the country without written permission.
“Pursuant to section F-s and F-r of the Public Service Standing Orders 2021, you are hereby interdicted for duty to pave way for investigations and you will receive half pay with immediate effect until the charges against you have been cleared,” Dr.Atwine says in the letter.
The development comes a few hours after Baterana who had been detained at Jinja Road Police station was released on police bond but his passport was confiscated.
Baterana was on Tuesday arrested together with six other officials from Mulago by the State House Health Monitoring Unit to aid in the ongoing investigation into shs28.8 billion allegedly spent by the national referral hospital but unaccounted for.
The State House Health Monitoring Unit director, Dr.Warren Namara told journalists on Wednesday that following complaints by some members of the public in April last year, they started investigation into the procurement processes, drugs, human resource management and finances at the hospital leading to a number of queries that culminated into Baterana’s arrest.
“A total of 65 staff both serving and retired were interviewed and statements recorded and so far it has been established that a total of shs974 million is unaccounted for the period of two years of July 2019 to 2021. The accounting officer(Baterana) failed to notify the Accountant General about missing vouchers amounting to shs5.27 billion” Dr.Namara said.