By Isaac Mutema
In the recently passed national budget, is some-sort-of an item that is odd. The item relates to the new specialized heart hospital. The government pledges to erect the facility in the Naguru area within Nakawa Division.
No specific location is being mentioned as to where the supposed hospital is going to be presumably built. It is most probable, though, that the same is going, if at all it is a genuine project, to be located at the place of the razed Naguru housing estate.
Tycoon Prince Aga Khan was allocated part of the land by the government formerly belonging to the razed estates. It is thus possible that the government is looking at joining hands with him to make the specialized heart hospital part of his project.
This isn’t to suggest, incidentally, that Aga Khan’s plan is still on. The internationally acclaimed leader of the Ismalia faith, is thought to have paused the idea.
He wants the government to first allocate to him additional land, before he can revisit the same. The fresh heart hospital pledge by the government is a controversial one. We are going to tell you why.
The pledge arrives close to five years after the government issued yet another one strikingly related to the current one. That pledge was in respect of a specialized hospital whose location was chosen as Lubowa along Kampala, Entebbe highway.
The deal was handed to an Italian controversial woman referred to as Enrica Pinnet. A cool four hundred billion shillings was removed from the national coffers under the guise of funding the project.
We were told the colossal sums were going to be handed to Pinnet. The hospital is nowhere to be seen. We have no idea if the funds were actually handed to Pinnet.
Yet we can’t also rule out the fact that the funds were actually diverted by our leaders in the government. Diversion of funds for key projects in Uganda, is almost a given, though, criminal, but not an exception.
In any case, no one in government has ever stepped out to brief the country about the whereabouts of the money or–at least– to offer accountability regarding how it was spent!
What we know is that the same Pinnet is now being fronted by his godfathers in government as the silver bullet that is going to turn our coffee into gold!
As we are still at it, the government comes up then with yet another pledge of building a specialized heart facility.
But why not dust off the Lubowa project and include the heart wing in there? In any case, it’s also a hospital, not, a coffee processing factory!
Alternatively, why not upgrade the heart wing already existing at the main country’s Mulago hospital, before rolling out similar projects?
Other than that, seventy billion shillings of our cash is drawn and attached to the so-called fresh heart hospital project. Being a forgetful lot, we never stop to ask what is going on in circumstances such as this!
We merely sit back and sheepishly wait for the government to fulfil the pledge or not! And therein lies the mother of all curses bedeviling motherland Uganda.
A leadership bent on screwing us and a populace ready and willing to foolishly dance along! Four hundred billion shillings of our money was drawn to erect a specialized hospital previously.
There is absolutely nothing on the ground to show for such a massive kind of money.
The same guys who drew the other budget, conjure up another project similar by–all intents and purposes–to the one they had hid under to draw the previous cash.
Seventy billion is attached to the new project. We don’t ask any question absolutely. What further sort of evidence then is required before one can go ahead and convict us of being zombies, honestly speaking!
Will the new so-called heart hospital come to pass? Well, each and everyone us, had better keep his or her fingers absolutely crossed.