9 November 2012

Uganda: Umeme Switches Off Mulago Medical School

Photo: Agnes Ntambi/New Vision
Mulago medical students demonstrate

Power Company, UMEME has switched off power supply to Mulago Nursing and Medical Schools.

The Principal of Mulago Medical School, James Rwandembo said at the time of the disconnection, UMEME claimed the institution owed the company sh916m.

The disconnection has kept 1700 students and their lecturers in darkness since the semester started on September 9.

Rwandembo said the two schools are now relying on solar panels, which are lighting up a few rooms, leaving the students' rooms in darkness.

Rwandembo added that the two schools were overbilled by UMEME which caused the unfair disconnection.

"Even if we had not been paying the power bill for the last 20 years, it should not have been that big," he added.

Rwandembo said it was now upon the Ministry of Health to intervene and ensure that the two schools are reconnected.

When contacted for a comment, the permanent secretary of Ministry of Health, Asuman Lukwago, said the illegal connections in the two schools were responsible for the huge power bills up.

Lukwago added that he had passed over the responsibility of paying the bill to the Ministry of Education which he said was in charge of the two schools.

But the state Minister for Higher education, John Christozom Muyingo, said he was not aware of the power problem at the medical schools.

"It is coming to my attention for the first time. I am going to investigate and get back to you," he said.

He however said the Ministry of Health should not complain about the power bill for the two institutions because they are also government entities, linked to health.

In the meantime, Management has reportedly cautioned students against resorting to demonstrations.

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