Zombo health worker who lost 6.7 million gov’t money to betting, set free after payment

By Mike Rwothomio

Nasser Kerim, a health worker from Zeu health center 3 in Zombo district who Last year lost to betting   6.7 million shillings meant for payment of about 240  village health teams, Local council 1 chairpersons amongst others in Aka sub-county is now a free man after eventually paying back the money. #WhisperEyeNews

In November 2022, 6.7 million shillings were reportedly disbursed on Kerim’s personal account as facilitation for about 240 health workers who participated in the door-to-door national polio vaccination campaign in Aka sub county between the 4th and 10th  of November.

Kerim, who was the supervisor for Aka sub-county during the vaccination exercise upon interrogation reportedly revealed  That he used part of the money for betting in the then ongoing world cup games that he lost badly, and part of the money was deducted as a  loan he initially borrowed,  according to Mark Bramall, the District health officer of Zombo.

Nasser Kerim who was immediately arrested,  Made amends with authorities in Zombo to recover the cash and he was under security watch since then.

The deputy RDC of Zombo district Grace Atim who last year tasked the health worker to pay the money immediately revealed to Whisper Eye that Nasser Kerim was pressured by the Zombo district RDC’S office to pay the money which he did.

“I need to confirm to you that he cleared all the money because we followed him keenly when he made a commitment of paying the money back. you can also confirm  from the workers themselves” Atim Said

Technocrats and Leaders must not play around with money meant for the public according to the Zombo district LC5 chairperson James Oruna Oyullu.

 ” I want to caution everyone against playing with money for the public, you need to be more careful” Oyullu warned

It’s quite unclear why the money was deposited on the health worker’s personal account putting into consideration that most technocrats have checkered loans record.

The village health team’s supervisor for Aka Sub-county Alex Mananu , has confirmed that all his members have received their money.

He also cautioned authorities against downplaying the work of Village health teams who are playing a pivotal role in fixing the healthcare gap in the community.

“All our members have received their money. Days ago, the implicated health worker was calling me for name verification which I did. Members used to call me daily about their cash but nowadays they are quiet and happy. Technocrats should value our work because we are helping the health ministry a lot” Mangano told the Whisper Eye News.

It’s high time the community is enlightened about clear accountability so that leaders are held accountable according to Nelson Ogentho, A youth advocate with Action Aid Uganda in Zombo district, who is also the Managing director of a community-based organization Zombo Rural Development Network ( ZURUDENA).

” If we enlighten the community about what belongs to them, we shall see people raising their voices against some of these rampant corruption and they will fear playing around with public funds” Ogentho Said.

Between the 4th and 10th of November last year, as part of the global polio eradication initiative supported by the world health organization, UNICEF, and center for disease control and Prevention amongst others, The ministry of Health conducted a door-to-door polio vaccination campaign nationwide targeting children from zero to five years old.

The district councilor of Athuma sub-county who is also a committee member of Zombo district social works blamed the chief administrative officer of Zombo Jacob Batemyeto, who he said is ever depositing money on accounts of accounting officers most of whom have pending loans to clear.

Relatedly, the deputy dean of the association of all lower local government leaders in Zombo district James Cekecan, also the LC3 chairperson of Warr Sub-county has expressed bitterness with the way the Zombo district leadership continues disbursing public funds on accounts of accounting officers most of whom have ” questionable work ethics and loan record”.

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