By Max Patrico Ocaido
Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake's health may slip for the worst if Parliament doesn't clear the outstanding medical bill amounting to $72,473.43 (over Shs250m) ahead of his surgery on Monday.
Zaake was manhandled by plain-clothed security who raided Parliament chambers in September to bring sanity when MPs especially the opposition legislators violently rejected a Private member's Bill by Igara West county MP Raphael Magyezi that intends to scrap presidential age limit cap.
The youthful legislator was recently separately flown abroad for specialized treatment with Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze. Unlike the latter who last Monday was advanced money ahead of Wednesday's successful operation, Zaake is still choking on a huge medical bill which if not cleared will make him miss his surgery slated for this Monday.
"Monday 13th, November 2017 is the day that I am to meet specialized neurosurgeons for surgery but hitherto I am not sure whether it will be, simply because the balance must be cleared to nil before the surgery, my family managed to raise half of $72, 473.43 which is the total amount leaving a balance of $36,236.715 to be paid to the hospital before the process. I have indeed waited for quite long for the institution of Parliament to arrange the money to cater for my medical bills abroad because I am entitled to this money just like any other member of parliament. Why the process has taken so long time! God knows," Zaake said.
MP Nambooze received over Shs120m for treatment in India plus a per diem of $720 for 15 days ($10,800). Her accompanying doctor reportedly got $3,660.
Even on his sickbed at Mercy Hospital in Minnesota, U.S, Zaake has expressed dissatisfaction as to why Parliament has delayed to send him financial assistance yet he was the first to be flown for specialized treatment. Apparently, Zaake first used his Shs29m consultation facilitation for treatment before his father also paid part of money.
"I underwent diagnosis on the instruction of Uganda medical board for which results established that indeed I needed advanced treatment, why don't I get my medical entitlement other than being tossed up and down?" Zaake said.
He added, "Madam speaker kindly intervene, my treatment is costing a lumpsum of $72,473.43 please don't let me believe that all the commitment you made to me while visiting at my residence was empty promises, I am told that my life is at stake if I don't undergo this surgery."
Parliament speaks out
Chris Obore, director Communication and Public affairs in an interview said that whereas Parliament is aware of Zaake's condition, they are still waiting for clearance from government considering "It's public funds involved and those funds have procedures to be met before they are released."
"Parliament is waiting for clearance from Uganda Medical Board and communication from the Prime Minister. That is the procedure. Otherwise we are aware," Obore said.