Uganda: New Findings Emerge On Stolen Shs300m Arua Ambulance

A private investigative report has pinned Arua Regional Referral Hospital bosses over the stolen Shs300m ambulance.

A report, that is yet to be made public, indicates that the administrators, drivers and security guards were negligent and failed to safeguard government property.

The hospital board hired a private investigator after the ambulance was stolen early this year.

The hospital's board chairperson, Dr Sam Okuonzi, revealed at the weekend that they engaged a private company to conduct the investigations.

"The findings are quite interesting because the administrators were found to be negligent in managing the vehicles at the yard. We shall also take action against the hospital administrator and the director ...," he said.

According to the report, there was connivance among hospital drivers on the night of March 27 and 28 .

It is said that on the fateful night, two drivers communicated with some unknown people outside Arua City. But the details of their communication weren't given.

The security personnel was also faulted over failure to safeguard the place.

"People should be re-arrested and more interrogation should be done and this is what I communicated to the ministry after this report. With the two drivers, there is a strong link and these should be taken on," Dr Okuonzi said.

"As part of security, the hospital has a CCTV camera at the entrance of the gate, drivers and other staff have books to sign in and out indicating time and reasons. The private company that was hired, whom we could not name to guard against jeopardising further investigations, has released their report," he added.

Administrator responds

Responding to the report claims, the hospital administrator, Mr Yonas Oboth, said the security team is solely to blame.

"How can they accuse us of failing on supervision? There are mechanisms on how vehicles move out. I haven't seen the report and it is important to internalise it first," he said.

"A report like this has two components because it can help us improve how things are done and helps to get the points on how we failed on our part," he added.

While appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Covid-19 recently, the hospital director, Dr Filbert Nyeko, said: "Yes an Ambulance got lost and we reported the matter to police and it is being investigated. I will walk to police to request for information on how far the investigation has gone."

It has remained unclear when the police report would also be released regarding the stolen and unrecovered Ambulance.

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