Dr Byarugaba Baterana

The Executive Director of Mulago National Referral Hospital Dr. Byarugaba Baterana has been interdicted over fraud and misappropriation of funds and been barred from leaving the country without official permission.

Dr. Byarugaba was arrested on 28th of February by the Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) Criminal Investigation Department on allegations of fraud and misappropriation of funds totaling to Shs28.8 billion for the past four financial years.

In a letter signed by the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health, Diana Atwine, Dr. Byarugaba has been notified of his interdiction from duty.

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“You are well aware that there are ongoing criminal investigations instituted by the Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) 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,” reads part of the letter.

“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-Corruptions Act (2009), Embezzlement contrary to section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Act (2009), Causing financial loss contrary to section 20 of the Anti-Corruption Act (2009) and Fraudulent false accounting contrary to section 23 of the Anti-Corruption Act (2009).

Dr Byarugaba has been ordered to keep away from the duty station and handover office to his Deputy Director. He will also receive half pay until charges against him have been cleared.

“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 charges against you have been cleared,” Atwine said

“You are therefore required 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.”

The monitoring unit avers that in 2016, the hospital contracted two companies MS Setramco International Limited and MS Convention World Ltd to provide a range of services that is to say laundry machines, Central Sterile supply department steam boilers and sundry. Investigations indicate that based on forged work Identity Card, and work completion certificates, the companies were paid Shs 20.5 billion.

HMU also accused the hospital management of entering into an illegal agreement with the private pharmacies. In February 2018, the management entered into a 10 year memorandum of understanding and tenancy agreement with private pharmacies; Ecopharm and First pharmacy to operate within the hospital premises.

They said that the poorly executed MOUs and tenancy by both Ecopharm and First pharmacy, defaulted rent of up to a tune of Shs135 million and Shs67.5 million respectively by 4th November 2021.