The official unveiling of the new radiotherapy machine at Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago Referral Hospital has again been deferred on Wednesday.
Earlier the ministry had announced that the Minister Ruth Aceng would receive the machine, but journalists were told the exercise called off because the equipment is still held at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) head offices in Nakawa.
This becomes the second time to postpone the unveiling exercise.
This Website has learnt that URA officials have refused to release this machine because of tax. However, according to the process of how the machine was procured it is exempted from taxes.
But officials at Nakawa insist that the supplier and the shipping company did not clear some required tax obligations.
There is growing frustration among cancer patients who gathered at the facility to witness the arrival of this machine.
Uganda government sent for this new radiotherapy equipment in June this year, 15 months after the break down of the singular cancer machine at the National Referral Hospital Mulago in March 2016.
When we contacted ministry of health spokesperson Vivian Serwanjja confirmed that indeed the machine held in customs at URA.
“The UCI team is in direct touch with customs. We have learnt that there was an unforeseen delay that they are to work on/ we shall keep you posted on any updates,” Vivian told TrumpetNews.
URA publicist Vicent Seruma denied the reports: “why would URA confiscate this machine,” he wondered.
“Can I call back in 5 minutes,” he requested. But he hadn’t not by the time of publishing this report.
The Executive Director of Uganda Cancer Institute, Dr. Jackson Orem told journalists that some “steps” were not reconciled and the machine couldn’t reach Mulago.