Olive Najjuma: Ministry of Health's Dr Atwine should have followed the law


RX Radio Presenter Olive Najjuma has said it was wrong for the Ministry of Health to divert funds and bypass the law while procuring equipment for the Covid-19 pandemic as this will create a bad precedent in public service management.


The permanent secretary of ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine yesterday admitted to flouting several procurement procedures and rules when she diverted money while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Atwine says, she did this in the interest of Uganda and in an attempt to save lives.


Atwine's remarks were in response to the Auditor General's 2019/20 financial year report, which implicated the ministry for diverting over Shs 10.5 billion and Shs 2.95 billion from budgeted activities without approval or following the right procedures and procurement guidelines and rules. The AG also faulted the ministry for failure to conduct quality checks on the procured ICU equipment worth Shs 26 billion, face masks worth Shs 26 billion and other lab testing equipment for COVID-19.


While on Tuesday’s the Fatboy Show, Olive noted that it does not matter what the intention was but as a public servant that deals with Public funds, Dr Atwine should have followed the law and not done things in an informal manner.


"The moment you bypass the law for any reason and then try to justify it, you are only giving a bad precedent for other government offices who may not have a genuine reason to but they will use such an excuse to mismanage public funds," she said.


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The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy and Oliver Najjuma every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.


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