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IGG, NDA Bosses In Row Over Laboratory Chief

By Vision Reporter

Added 30th May 2003 03:00 AM

A row has erupted between the Inspector General of Government (IGG) and the National Drug Authority (NDA) over the circumstances under which NDA boss Dr. William Nganwa forced the head of NDA’s Drug Quality Laboratory out of office.

A row has erupted between the Inspector General of Government (IGG) and the National Drug Authority (NDA) over the circumstances under which NDA boss Dr. William Nganwa forced the head of NDA’s Drug Quality Laboratory out of office.

By Emmy Allio
A row has erupted between the Inspector General of Government (IGG) and the National Drug Authority (NDA) over the circumstances under which NDA boss Dr. William Nganwa forced the head of NDA’s Drug Quality Laboratory out of office.
Atanasius Kakwemeire was forced out of office last month shortly before his contract had expired.
“The security guards at NDA headquarters told me that they are under instructions to stop me from entering the NDA headquarters,” kakweme-ire told the New Vision.
Sources said NDA bosses accused Kakwemeire of leaking to the public the story about anti-malarial drugs imported by a Kampala pharmaceutical firm, Radia pharmaceuticals, from an unlicensed pharmaceutical factory in Ningbo in China.
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is still holding the three containers of the drugs.
Mathias Tumwesigye, a senior official in the IGG’s office, wrote to Nganwa on April 8 saying the IGG’s office “is investigating the circumstances under which NDA declined to renew the contract of the head of the Head National Drug Quality Control Laboratory.
“The purpose of this letter is to request you to halt Mr. Kakwemeire’s hand-over of the said office to Mr. Peter Ssali and maintain the status quo until this office concludes investigations.”
In a reply, NDA leaders said they would go ahead with evicting Kakwemeire from the office.
On May 19, the IGG, Jotham Tumwesigye wrote again to the chairman of NDA.
“In the exercise of powers conferred on this by Article 230(2) of the Constitution you are ORDERED to halt Mr. Kakwemeire’s hand-over of the said office to Mr. Peter Ssali and to stay any recruitment processes that you are purportedly carrying out until this office concludes its investigations into the matter,” the IGG said.
The letter was copied to the health minister, Brig. Jim Muhwezi, the health state minister, the minister of Ethics and Integrity, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and head of the Civil Service and Secretary to Cabinet.
The IGG warned, “the consequences of disobeying this order should be known to you.”
In response to the IGG’s letter, Nganwa on May 22 ordered the closure of the NDA Quality Control Laboratory and on May 26 convened a board of directors meeting whose resolution defied the IGG’s directives.
The board resolved to adopt Nganwa’s decision.
When the New Vision telephoned Nganwa yesterday, he said he was busy in a meeting and was therefore unable to comment.
Muhwezi was also not available.
The chairman of the board of directors, Dr. William Nganwa and the acting executive secretary/registrar, Dr. John Lule, were last November arrested and detained in Luzira prison for abuse of office.
Terms of the court bail require them to report to court every two weeks. Kakwemeire is a witness in the case.
Contrary to Public Service regulations which require public officers under investigations to be interdicted and quit office to pave way for investigations, the NDA bosses received Muhwezi’s blessing to return to office.
Muhwezi’s decision angered the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda who said the presence of Nganwa and his colleagues in NDA put the credibility of the whole sector at stake.
Sources in NDA, Public service Commission (PSC) and the health ministry said NDA leaders were given preferential treatment because of ‘godfathers’ top in government.
The NDA Personnel Manual, which is a duplication of the PSC standing orders, states in section 13.8.5 that “staff suspected to have committed an offence that requires investigations shall be interdicted.”
“Interdiction shall refer to administrative action taken against a member of staff barring him/her from exercising the functions of his/her office or involvement in activities of the secretariat to allow for investigation without interference. Ends

IGG, NDA Bosses In Row Over Laboratory Chief

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