Luwero Hospital Mortuary attendants have dumped two decomposing bodies at Luwero Town Council offices in protest over non-payment.
The two were unclaimed bodies of persons who were knocked dead and transferred to Luwero Hospital by the Police a week ago. However, the bodies were not claimed and the hospital administration resolved to have them buried at a public cemetery which is managed by the town council.
But instead of taking the bodies to the cemetery, two mortuary attendants John Kalibbala and Rogers Kakumba dumped them at the entrance of Luwero Town Council offices early today, in protest of non-payment and disrespect.
Kakumba told URN that the town council failed to clear their arrears amounting to 990,000 Shillings which accumulated from April to November 2023. Kukumba adds that the town council was supposed to pay 60,000 Shillings per body that they buried but cut it to 30,000 Shillings, and still failed to pay them.
Armed with pangas, the attendants attempted to break the building and dump the bodies inside the offices of the Town Clerk and the LC III Chairperson before they were blocked by a security guard at the entrance.
Another attendant John Kalibbala said they petitioned the LC III Chairperson Chris Buwembo and the Town Clerk Lydia Nabaasa over delayed payments in vain. Kalibbala added that they had also run out of space at the public cemetery.
The protest was backed by councillors and residents saying that the attendants deserve pay for the work done as well as the nature of the task entrusted to them.
But Nathan Lumu, the Deputy LC III Chairperson of Luwero Town Council and health inspectors persuaded the attendants to bury the bodies as their payments are processed. Lumu acknowledged that the payments were delayed but blamed the delay on bureaucracies in accessing local revenue collections.
Luwero Town Clerk Lydia Nabaasa never stepped into the office during the fracas while the LC III Chairperson Chris Buwembo was reportedly just returning to the country from a foreign trip. The mortuary attendants later agreed with the town council officers and loaded the bodies on the motorcycle before riding them to the cemetery for burial as they waited for payments.
Recently the administrators of Luwero Hospital told URN that they were struggling to handle the increasing number of unclaimed bodies dropped at the facility. At least three dead bodies are dropped at Luwero Hospital per week by Police and these are mainly accident and murder victims.
Robert Lukenge, the Administrator of Luwero Hospital said that the hospital’s mandate is only to help in carrying out postmortem to aid in the investigations but not bury the unclaimed dead bodies. He adds that the hospital is only supposed to facilitate the burial of the unclaimed bodies of patients who die from the wards but not from outside. He noted that the burial of the unclaimed is the work of the town council.
The hospital mortuary also lacks a mortuary refrigerator to keep the bodies.