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Masaka Hospital decries lack of budget allocation

The administration of Masaka Hospital has appealed to the government to review its budget and allocate funds to facilitate it resume smooth operations.
Kicukiro Mayor Jules Ndamage makes a presentation yesterday. The New Times / T. Kisambira
Kicukiro Mayor Jules Ndamage makes a presentation yesterday. The New Times / T. Kisambira

The administration of Masaka Hospital has appealed to the government to review its budget and allocate funds to facilitate it resume smooth operations.

Dr. Isabelle Izimukwiye, the hospital director noted that the hospital has been relying on Kanombe Military hospital, both financially and manpower.

“Kanombe had agreed to help us for only three months [since last September]. The agreed time expired and it is now a challenge to us,” Izimukwiye said.

She was speaking during a visit to Kicukiro District by John Rwangombwa, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who is also the district’s overseer.

Of the 103 medical workers at Masaka hospital, 80, according to Izimukwiye, are from Kanombe Hospital.

“The others who are permanent workers have not been paid; we need the government to revise its plans and allocate us a budget, and even more workers since most of those we have are not ours,” she pleaded.

Masaka requires 167 workers.

The hospital built by the Chinese government to the tune of over Rwf 9.5 billion in its first phase, had not been budgeted for in the 2011/2012 district fiscal year, since it started its operations after the district had already presented its budget.

In his response, Rwangombwa requested the district to liaise with the Ministry of Health to devise a proper and urgent plan to acquire funds for the hospital in the remaining six months.

Meanwhile, he also disclosed that the US300,000 dollars (approximately Rwf 180 million) pledge by Uganda’s President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni towards the construction of Nyarugunga Primary School, under the 12-Year Basic Education, will be spent on the school.

This was after the district Mayor, Paul Jules Ndamage, had requested that the funds be put on the district’s bank account.

“Plans are underway to give out a tender to construct a two-storey school block at the premises and fence the school,” disclosed Ndamage.

Museveni made the pledge while on a state visit to Rwanda, last July, during the monthly community cleanup exercise, commonly known as Umuganda, to construct classrooms at Nyarugunga Primary School in Kanombe Sector.

 Rwangombwa, who observed that Kicukiro District has the least number of people living below the poverty line – eight percent - urged them “to move from poverty reduction to poverty eradication.”

Poverty has reduced by 18 percent in the district since 2006.

“Kicukiro has been among the best performers in the country. This commitment can also be shifted to eradicating poverty in the next five years,” noted Rwangombwa, who is also the overseer of Nyarugenge District.

Since 2006, Kicukiro constructed 402 houses for vulnerable groups, primary schools increased to 57 from 42 and Professional and Technical Training Centres (PTTC) increased from four to ten.

The Minister, however, faulted the officials for failing to mobilise the public to engage in development projects.

“Some leaders fail to mobilise the public and opt to force them to adopt such programmes. This is a sign of bad governance,” stated Rwangombwa.

The minister also toured the new district office block and Kabeza modern market, which are under construction.

The Kabeza market, worth Rwf 2  billion is owned by Louis Aboyeza, the proprietor of Stella Matutina bar and restaurants.

The market scheduled to be completed next month, will accommodate over 1,200 vendors, and with a modern restaurant and bar.

bosco.asiimwe@newtimes.co.rw

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