Agago County MP John Amos Okot On Monday refuted claims in the media by some local leaders that he had taken away an ambulance he donated to the district last year.
The MP accused some local leaders of trying to sabotage his projects in the area on fears that such projects only serve to popularize him among the electorates.
In March last year, the MP donated the ambulance Reg No UAL 804J to the district to help in the transportation of patients in referral cases from lower health units to district hospitals. However, the MP was accused of withdrawing the ambulance which he had donated in fulfillment of his 2011 election campaign pledges on claims that it was redundant.
When contacted, Mr Okot said he had taken the ambulance for repair after it was dismantled and some parts stolen. He also accused some district leaders of sabotage.
“I bought that vehicle and handed over to the district in March last year in the presence of the District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Emmanuel Otto, the then CAO Mr Francis Oluka and the district chairperson. The ambulance was attached to Patongo HCIII by the district leaders but during one of my monitoring programmes in February this year, I discovered it had been parked for more than three months,” he added.
Mr Okot claims that he confronted the DHO and the CAO about the ambulance but they told him that the key had been lost by the driver.
“When I asked them whether they had reported the matter to police, they said they had not. I gave them two more months to look for the key and also report the matter to police but they failed,” he said, adding that, “Consequently, I personally decided to take the ambulance which had also been dismantled for repair. I will hand it over to the community members by 30th of this month when its repair is complete.”
The Agago district health officer Dr Emmanuel Otto had earlier on told Daily Monitor that the ambulance was handed over to the then district CAO Mr Francis Oluka without proper documentation or an MOU.
“The community ambulance was not attached to any health center in the district and it did not have a log book although we had got some information that it was taken to Patongo HCIII to help in some emergencies,” he said.
According to Dr Otto, there was no MOU signed at the handover. After the hand over, the driver lost the keys and the ambulance remained grounded since then.
He said the district considered the ambulance to be a private vehicle and could not spend government money on either repairing or fuelling it for accountability reasons.
However, Mr Okot dismissed Dr Otto’s claims saying he had agreed to pay for routine maintenance and repair of the ambulance.
“I had also agreed to pay half of the driver’s salary,” he stressed.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor