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Koboko hospital ambulance seized in Pakwach with smuggled cigarettes

The impounded ambulance

The impounded ambulance

Nobert Abukuwa, the driver of an ambulance belonging to Koboko hospital has been arrested for smuggling cigarettes.

The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) enforcement team at Pakwach checkpoint impounded an ambulance, a Toyota Land Cruiser, registration number, UBD 512X was seized with 16 sacks of Super-Match cigarettes at around 3:00 am on Sunday in Pakwach district.

URA manager for northern Uganda Sylvester Kiwanuka confirmed the incident, stating that the driver, along with the impounded vehicle, has been transferred to Kampala, where he is expected to appear in court.

"It's true; our officers intercepted the ambulance in Pakwach. The driver and the vehicle are now in Nakawa," he said.

Preliminary reports indicate that the vehicle, which originated from Koboko town, was heading to Gulu to deliver the smuggled goods. It is alleged that the driver conspired with a soldier attached to Koboko barracks, whose name has been withheld for security reasons, to transport the smuggled goods to Gulu. 

Ashraf Mambo, Koboko district LC V chairperson, condemned the driver's actions, accusing him of using the vehicle without permission of the medical superintendent of Koboko hospital.

"The driver under question was off duty at the time when he picked the ambulance...In his own thoughts, he connived with some businesspeople and went off with the ambulance with counter-banned cigarettes on that wee night. And when we investigated, the ambulance left the hospital without any authority," said Mambo.

According to Mambo, he has already instructed the chief administrative officer (CAO), John Bosco Akera, to initiate disciplinary action against the errant driver. Michael Ajule, the North Division councilor said that the impounded ambulance was donated to the district by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for refugee health emergencies and referrals. He noted that this is the second time ambulances donated to the district for service delivery have been misused.

Juma Mawa, Dranya sub-county councilor stated that the council has called for thorough investigations into the matter to address such issues in the future. For decades, the West Nile region has been a hotspot for smuggling activities, which local leaders attribute to the numerous porous border entry points. 

According to information from URA, Uganda loses an estimated Shs 5 billion annually through smuggling.

Comments

+1 #1 kabayekka 2023-09-11 21:49
There goes another of these dodgy NRM administrators who is on orders from above to do corruption work.

How then can the public sort out such secret corruption deals as the IGG has been instructing it to do?

The public is out there suffering public transport to attend hospital treatment while the ambulances are busy smuggling cigarettes for the big people?
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+1 #2 Lysol 2023-09-11 22:14
Is that peace of junk, meet the standard ambulance vehicle?
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+1 #3 Lysol 2023-09-12 05:21
Quoting Lysol:
Is that peace of junk, meet the standard ambulance vehicle?

Typo: Piece of junk!
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0 #4 Lakwena 2023-09-12 07:38
At this rate of abuse (corruption) of everything: that Ambulances are used for smuggling cigarettes, ferrying charcoal, bricks, firewood, etc.; who would still like to give way for any Ambulance and/or Emergency Vehicle, out of concern for those in a state of medical emergency?

In other words, under our current corrupt to the core "Problem of Africa", Gen Tibuhaburwa, who in his/her right state of mind can still deny that: everyday other day of the year Uganda has become a very day dangerous country for everybody.
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0 #5 Lakwena 2023-09-12 07:52
But for Heaven and Hell's sake, it is the "security reason" BS, that this country is where it is.

Otherwise, by participating in diverting, polluting (contaminating) and perverting the use of an Ambulance; why on Earth would anybody withhold the name of a wrongdoing security officer "soldier" in the name of "security reason"?
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+2 #6 Akot 2023-09-12 14:41
Cigarettes is one main cause of deaths & waste of money in medicin for treatment of those affected with it!

Developed countries increase prices now & then, but ignore their health services are overwhelmed with those affected/dying due to cigarettes!

Pregnant women, mothers don't care about their unborn kids', children's health either; they pollute the unborn, homes... as their freedom to live & just smock where they want!
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+1 #7 Lysol 2023-09-12 20:09
Quoting Akot:
Cigarettes is one main cause of deaths & waste of money in medicin for treatment of those affected with it!

Developed countries increase prices now & then, but ignore their health services are overwhelmed with those affected/dying due to cigar

Pregnant women, mothers don't care about their unborn kids', children's health either; they pollute the unborn, homes... as their freedom to live & just smock where they want!


Lady Akot!
You are spot on. Ugandans need to be educated about the dangers of tobacco as well as cannabis, which has been legalised by the corrupt regime.
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0 #8 kasede 2023-09-12 22:28
Quoting Lysol:
Quoting Lysol:
Is that peace of junk, meet the standard ambulance vehicle?

Typo: Piece of junk!

We have to make do with what Obote left us with, don't we?
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