By Patrick Jaramogi
Government is beginning to turn its guns on embattled Abim Chief Administrative Moses Kaziba Nandhala for reprimanding the nurses at Abim hospital.
Much as Kaziba has continued to brush off the criticisms heaped against him for punishing the “innocent nurses”, The Investigator has reliably learnt that the ‘powers that be’ is not resting and wants the CAO to answer for his actions.
The two nurses, Santina Adong, a senior nursing officer, and Pasca Akello, a nursing assistant are being punished for taking Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate around the hospital.
According to Kaziba, the two staffs broke the law that bars them as civil servants from engaging in partisan politics. Kaziba in a December 7, 2015, letter that has gone viral in social media gave each of the nurses seven days to explain their respective actions or risk facing disciplinary action.
Why are the nurses being punished?
The nurses ‘sin” or “crime” was to show Kizza Besigye around the dilapidated 200-bed capacity hospital. They according to Kaziba went against the rule of oath of secrecy that they signed when they assume office as civil servants.
Kaziba under fire
Much as the President has not officially come to condemn the acts of Kaziba (Abim CAO) that insiders say is a shame to the ruling NRM party, The Investigator has learnt that President Museveni is not amused by the conduct of Kaziba basing on his past records of failing to account for colossal sums of money sent to the district. “Of course the President monitors all events but takes time to come out, preferring to use internal methods to handle it,” said a senior presidential advisor on condition of anonymity.
The advisor intimated to the Investigator that in December 2014 the President wrote to the Head of Public Service and secretary to Cabinet John Mitala instructing him to order all Permanent secretaries to relax the standing orders. In his communication Museveni observed that the strict standing public orders was restricting the staff from relating freely with the public, something he described as detrimental to easy access to public information.
John Mitala would not be reached for a comment but the communication was submitted to the respective accounting officers who we are yet to investigate if they are implementing the presidential orders to the dot. The Abim RDC Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka however said the nurses should not be reprimanded before investigations are complete.
The government spokesman Ofwono Opondo on Saturday described the CAOs move as “uncalled for and unaccepted”. ‘Who is Kaziba?? Who is he to torment workers when he himself is questionable? We are going to put him to order,” said Ofwono. He said as the CAO, he should be put to task to explain why the district had not resident doctor for two years. ‘We want the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Dr. Asuman Lukwago to explain if he posted doctors there and they refused to report or not. And the CAO who is now residing in the district doctors house will also have to explain,” he said adding. “We shall put him to task to account for the millions of shillings remitted to the district. I still don’t believe that the CAO can fail to get money for fumigation to rid the hospital of bats,” wondered Ofwono during a local radio talk show.
Ofwono warned all district CAOs against blocking presidential candidates, the media or politicians from accessing hospitals. “We can only know the rot in these government facilities if they are accessed by members of the public. I don’t expect any CAO of district official to do what the Abim CAO did,” said Opondo.
Kaziba now on spot for trying to be holier than the Pope was until recently grilled by Members of Parliament for failing to show accountability. He shamelessly told the committee of Parliament that the accountability documents were eaten by termites.
Dr Asuman Lukwago was not in line with the CAO, he says he will not allow the nurses to be punished without hearing them.