MAY 5, 2010: Top Ministers Named in Fresh Drugs Scam

Top Ministers Named in Fresh Drugs Scam
SOURCE: The Monitor
By Alfred Nyongesa Wandera

Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi and Health Minister Stephen Mallinga were named among senior government officials who got excess consignments of drugs meant for malaria control, court heard yesterday.

While testifying before the Anti-Corruption Court, Dr John Bosco Rwakimari, the former National Malaria Control Programme manager, said Prof Nsibambi, Dr Mallinga and his junior in charge of General Duties, Dr Richard Nduhura would request for whatever quantities of drugs and would be given.

"They would request for any amount of drugs they wanted and I would give them. They were adequate-enough doses for them," Dr Rwakimari said.

Without mentioning names, Dr Rwakimari added that other top Health ministry officials also benefited from getting excess consignments of drugs without question.

He told court that health officials were required to request for only 10 doses, but Prof Nsibambi, Dr Malinga and Dr Nduhura would get even more than 20 doses.

Revealing more rot in the malaria drug scam, Mr Pontiano Jjumba, an assistant director of Health Service Delivery Monitoring Unit in the ministry, told court that Dr Richard Ndyomugyenyi, the programme manager of Malaria Control Programme, his deputy Dr Myers Lugemwa and administrative manager Martin Shibeki, got drugs without signing for them.

The trio are facing trial before the Anti-Corruption Court over alleged misappropriation of malaria drugs worth over Shs2 billion.