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MPs throw out National Medical Stores staff for failure to account for 27 billion

MPs sitting on the Parliamentary Budget Committee has today thrown out officials from the National Medical Stores (NMS) from  meeting during their accountability presentation on a 27 billion shillings advanced  to the body as supplementary during the 2016/17 financial year.

Budget Committee Chairman in Parliament

In a meeting with NMS officials at Parliament on Monday, the Committee Chairman, Amos Lugoloobi, also ordered that the ministry of health together with that of finance appears before them to explain the anomaly in expenditure which he said the NMS officials had failed to explain.

According to records, NMS received 27 billion shillings on medical and agricultural supplies to facilitate urgent procurement of blood supplies and anti-malarial drugs which were out of stock at the time.

Apollo Mwesigye, the acting general manager of NMS, said that previously, they used to receive 110 billion shillings for anti-malarial, ARVs and Tuberculosis but that the finance ministry directed it in May last year on how to use the money.

Trouble started when Mwesigye revealed that the permanent secretary ministry of finance, Keith  Muhakanizi, directed NMS to spend 94 billion shillings on  anti retroviral drugs by deducting from the budget of 50 billion shillings approved in the 2016/17 budget for treating malaria.

National Medical Stores in Kampala

This revelation however, sparked sharp debate from the committee members including the chairman, Lira woman MP Joy Ongom and Kassanda North MP, Patrick Nsamba, doubted figures that Mwesigye had presented.

“How possible was it for you to say you managed to tackle malaria for 9 months with only 5 billion shillings?” Ongom asked Mwesigye, before adding, “I don’t think you are being honest in giving us the correct figures here. Something is wrong somewhere this is not a transparent accountability at all,” she said.

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