Mulaga National Referral Hospital could be plunged into total blackout if the Shs2.8bn electricity bill is not settled.
Kampala district Umeme manager, Hussein Mubiru, told Red Pepper that Mulago Hospital is among the institutions that have given them a hard time when it comes to paying electricity bills. “We demand over Shs2bn from Mulago Hospital alone. This money has been accumulating over time but they have not bothered to clear,” Mubiru said. “Every month, we take a bill to them with all the previous balances carried forward.”
“The fact is that we would have disconnected this institution had it not been a hospital. It is just because we (Umeme) do not want to associate ourselves with people who kill others. Disconnecting power from Mulago may lead to countless deaths,” Mubiru said.
He said that despite all the tolerance rendered by Umeme, the hospital management seems to have kept a deaf ear.
In related news, the Institute of Allied Nurses was recently closed following a strike over disconnection of power for three months. “We decided to take this action because this institute had deliberately refused to clear electricity bills.”
“The sections that were affected include the Sickle Cell unit owned by Mulago, Paramedical School and the Cancer Institute,” said Mubiru. He added, “We demand over Shs900m from the Paramedical School that has accumulated over years. We have, on several occasions, approached them but never yielded any fruits until we had to disconnect them.”
The Institute of Allied Nurses boss, Dr. Rwandembo Mugisha, in a letter seen by Red Pepper, wrote protesting Umeme’s electricity bill as being exorbitant.
“The electricity supply to this institute was cut off by Umeme on July 22, 2012. The claim for their actions was none payment of Shs915m. We contested this bill because we do not have the capacity to consume that magnitude even in ten years…,” Dr. Mugisha’s letter reads in part. Mugisha argues that institute is only aware of a Shs10m electricity bill which they cleared.