The government has encountered strong opposition to its plans to transfer Entebbe Grade A hospital to the army.
There are conflicting reports as to what the actual plans are, although the ministry of Health claims the hospital will be turned into a health facility for VIPs.
Earlier on, it was reported that the Special Forces Group were seeking to take over the hospital because of security concerns given its location, near State House. This lack of clarity has raised suspicion.
If the government wants to take over the hospital over security concerns, why can’t it stand by that explanation? If the ministry of Defence wants to improve it for the military or VIPs, why not make that case? All the people expect are answers to questions such as, would such an exclusive facility be open to them?
If the government means well, those behind the idea must be frustrated that such a noble thing could be so misunderstood. But you can’t blame Ugandans, they have been here before.
When the Shimoni institutions in Kampala were razed a few years ago, the explanation was that a hotel was to be built on the site to accommodate CHOGM guests. Today, five years after CHOGM, the prime site has since changed hands and a shopping mall is coming up instead!
The government is, therefore, reaping what it has sown. The people simply don’t trust what it says. Even well-intentioned plans can be misunderstood because of the government’s poor record in telling the truth.
Otherwise, it would not be a bad idea to have a military hospital. Such hospitals exist in many countries, and their efficiency, given the military’s well-known discipline regime, is legendary.
However, such a hospital doesn’t have to be located in the same place as Entebbe Grade A. A different site can be found for an all-new hospital. If the issue is security, the government simply has to build a new hospital for Entebbe residents before taking over the existing one.