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Observer Report & NBS Media Round Table | State House confirms knowledge of BBC, NBS investigation

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Posted February 8, 2019 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Featured ~ 695 views

     

The head of State House Health Monitoring Unit Dr Jackson Ojera has confirmed that they were contacted by a team from BBC and NBS TV prior to an investigation into the alleged trade of government-regulated pharmaceuticals on the black market.

The yet-to-be aired investigation landed BBC journalists Godfrey Badebye and Kassim Mohamed, their fixer Rashid Kaweesa and their driver Shafiq Kisaame a night in cells at the Central Police Station (CPS) after they were arrested on Wednesday while attempting to purchasing some government drugs as undercover agents.

Upon interrogation according to police, the journalists told investigators that they were recording an investigations into the alleged sale and purchase of government drugs by government officials that are later sold to neighboring South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo and private clinics in the country. The journalists reportedly disclosed that they had bought some drugs and stored them at the residence NBS TV news anchor, Solomon Serwanjja in Mukono.

Police and operatives of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), then raided Serwanjja’s home where they arrested his wife, Vivian Nakaliika who is also the communications officer in charge of health promotion and behavioral change in the ministry of Health.

Several boxes of malaria, Hepatitis B drugs were also recovered. Possession of such classified drugs is punishable by a fine of up to Shs 2 million and up to five years in prison, according to provisions of the National Drug Policy and Authority Act. The journalists have today been released on police bond with charges of illegal possession of government drugs slapped against them and are supposed to report back on March 12.

Dr Ojera said just as they were still studying the objectives and motives of the investigation and the proposed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the team of journalists, the journalists went ahead and started the project.

“They sought audience with us and we guided them. We cannot, and I repeat, we cannot start anything with them until we have everything in black and white in form of MOU. We were in the process of drafting the MOU, giving comment here and there and to see how we can work together. Before were finished reviewing the MOU, it is yesterday when we’re seeing now information in the media. Little did we know that they had started their project. We are in no way part of what they were doing. We were in the preliminary, we were cautious enough.” said Ojera.

“We had included in the MOU that if we are to go into any partnership or corroboration, then there are certain things they have to allow us to first see before they publish,” Dr Ojera said.

The Health Monitoring Unit was established by President Museveni in 2009 as a strategic response to challenges in the health sector such as poor service delivery. The unit is a department under State House that is charged with improving health services by monitoring the management of essential medicines and service delivery.

Source NBS Reporter’s Round Table Video and Weekly Observer Report.


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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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