Dr Mugisha (L) at Mbarara Police Station after his arrest on Friday. Photo by Rajab Mukombozi

The only doctor in Ntungamo District, also the medical superintendent of Itojo Hospital, Dr Triphon Mugisha has been arrested over allegation of malpractice.
Dr Mugisha was picked from the hospital on Friday by officials from Medicines and Health Services Delivery Unit, who work under the President’s office.

Mr Ian Kakuru, the head of investigations in the unit, said Dr Mugisha was arrested on charges of corruption, embezzlement and abuse of office. “We were tipped off by a whistle-blower that the medical superintendent of Itojo Hospital had embezzled money meant for cervical cancer activities in the district. We made underground movements and arrested him,’’ Mr Kakuru said, adding that Dr Mugisha embezzled Shs20 million donated by an NGO.

Forgeries
Mr Kakuru said they carried out several investigations and found that the medical officer had, among several other things, forged receipts of media organisations in the region to claim that he carried out talk shows and radio programmes on the cervical cancer project.

The Southwestern Regional Police spokesperson, Ms Polly Namaye, confirmed the arrest of Dr Mugisha and said he will be arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court to face charges of embezzlement and uttering false documents.

District as crossroads
The arrest of Dr Mugisha, however, leaves the entire district without any medical doctor. The other doctor with whom they were working together at the hospital, Hilary Twizere, resigned in December last year, citing political harassment and heavy workload.
When nine doctors in the district resigned one after the other between 2010 and 2011 citing personal reasons and poor pay, Dr Mugisha stayed behind and shouldered on until his arrest on Friday.

“The gap has been left, it is an accident we must admit, but we have nothing to do, the chief administrative officer will assign someone to handle his duties until the situation normalises and his case is settled, the Health Service Commission had advertised and some people applied so may be the situation will be fixed,” Mr Peter Kibondo Rwakifari, the Ntungamo RDC, told Sunday Monitor.

By RAJAB MUKOMBOZI & PEREZ RUMANZI, Daily Monitor

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