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Health ministry PS orders arrest of senior planner

Police on orders of the permanent secretary Dr Diana Atwine have arrested a senior planner at the Ministry of Health on allegations of being an “imposter” for over a year after being convicted of diverting public funds.

Dr Sam Kamba Baleke was on Wednesday picked by police detectives from his office at the Ministry headquarters in Kampala and taken to the nearby Wandegeya Police Station. His work station, including computers, mobile phones, and several accountability documents were also taken by investigators led by Mr John Martin Okia.

After his arrest, Dr Atwine said in interview that Dr Kamba had earlier been convicted for embezzling tax payer’s money to the tune of Shs50 million meant for research.
“When I was still working with the State House Health Monitoring Unit, Dr Kamba was convicted for embezzling funds. He then appealed in the Court of Appeal and was exonerated,” Dr Atwine said.

According to Dr Atwine, the suspect is not fit to return to Public Service despite being exonerated by court.
“I was shocked that someone who abused public funds was still working at the Ministry of Health,” she said.

“Whether the Court of Appeal has exonerated him, he must not hold a public job with such a tainted image,” Dr Atwine said.
She said Dr Kamba has not been receiving salary but somehow, he was being given fieldwork by his supervisors despite her ordering him never to return to work.
“He came back early last year but I objected his return and he remained as an imposter because he had been deleted from the payroll,” she said.

Dr Atwine said she had learnt of his presence in office while signing off allowances for people going for field work.
“I had told his supervisors like the Assistant Commissioner in Charge of the Planning, Dr Sarah Byakika not to allow him back into office but instead, they have been delegating him to some assignments,” she said.

Dr Atwine said she has vowed to take action against Dr Kamba for being an imposter but also indicated that Dr Byakika, an immediate supervisor in the planning department, would have to face action.

Mr Okia, a detective attached to the Criminal Investigations Department indicated on Wednesday that they were still gathering evidence and recording statements before charging him.
Dr Sam Kamba Baleke was arrested in December 2009 with two other doctors.

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