Dr Atwine disowns US conman, squeezes official over Shs30m malaria cash

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Dr. Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health

The Uganda Health ministry has denied an alleged partnership between Government of Uganda and CareRight Healthcare Inc.-a US based organisation.

In a statement released on May 16, 2017, by Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said there was no partnership between a one Julius Murinzi, saying no ministry or government agency had partnered with the said man.

“The integrity of the said executive director, as quoted in the media, has been questioned, and as such the government of Ugandan cannot deal with a person of his reputation,” she said.

The government of Uganda wishes to distance itself from the company-CareRight HealthCare Inc.-and the person of Julius Murinzi.

Atwine said CareRight sent a proposal to the ministry of Health but it was never responded to and neither was it discussed by the ministry’s top management.

“Given the fact that the National Health Insurance Bill, which is intended to establish National Health Insurance Scheme is still due for debate in parliament, and possible passing into law, the government is not rushing into any partnerships until the full objective of this scheme is realised.”

The ministry warned Murinzi to stop spreading speculative and baseless claims about the health sector and government of Uganda.

Atwine turns attention on malaria money swindlers

Meanwhile, Atwine has also written to Sr. Grace Edyegu Otelu, an official on the Malaria Control Program, asking her to refund Shs30m within 30 days.

According to reports, the money was donated by the Global Fund (GF), a donor program that funds most of the health Ministry programmes concerning malaria.

According to Atwine’s letter dated March 15, 2017, GF team approached the Auditor General’s office and has been writing to her since December 2016 demanding proper accountability for the money that was given to Edyegu who headed the programme.

The money was meant for facilitating local leaders from Karamoja and Teso region districts to attend trainings held under a programme dubbed: “Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria [AMFM]”.

“I’m instructed to take administrative action and cause you to refund the above mentioned money without fail…therefore you are directed to refund the stated sum of money [Shs29,160,240],” Atwine wrote to Edyegu.

She added: “You are hereby required to comply with the directive to have fully refunded the funds within 30 days from receipt of this letter.”

Edyegu is quoted telling press that she never personally used the money hence cannot refund it.

Edyegu says she was in the field with Dr. Myers Lugemwa and the two covered eight Teso districts and seven in Karamoja where they met atleast 30 leaders from each district.

Apparently, they each a handbook, a file, a pen and exercise books on top of an allowance of Shs12,000 for each participant.

Edyegu joined the ministry of Health when Gen Jim Muhwezi was the Health Minister.

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