COVID-19 Update

Theft of covid-19 test kits in Adjumani sparks fury among leaders

Adjumani CAO Mr. Michael Wanje addressing the press at the district headquarters yesterday July 28,2021.

The Adjumani Chief Administrative Officer – CAO Mr. Wanje Michael has instructed the police CID boss in Adjumani to re-instate the theft case file against the in-charge laboratory Mungula health VI, Opio Daniel Ijuli, and forward the file to the resident state attorney for advice.

During a press briefing in his office yesterday, July 28, 2021, Mr. Wanje expressed dissatisfaction upon learning that the Adjumani hospital administrator Oja Michael impersonated him and instructed the police to close the file.

Impersonation according to Wanje Michael is an act of insubordination and could attract serious disciplinary action.

The worried laboratory technician Opio Ijuli was arrested on July 24, 2021, over an allegation of theft of 26 Covid -19 rapid diagnostic kits, he was briefly held at Mungula police post but later released on police bond on the intervention of Oja Michael the hospital administrator.

However, on July 25, 2021, upon the instructions of the Adjumani hospital administrator, he signed a commitment letter at the Adjumani central police station, stating he will pay cash shs 14m {fourteen million shillings in two installments as per the assessment of the value of the 20 kits.

The document dated July,25,2021, in part, reads. “I Opio Daniel Ijuli, hereby commit to paying back the 20 packets of Covid-19, rapid diagnostic kits or money worth its equivalent as assessed which is shs 14m”.

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The document signed by two witnesses, Amony Ann Grace and Vivian Amesa, was kept in the police file pending the fulfillment of the committee according to the police CID boss Munduru Comfort.

According to police investigations, National Medical Stores officials delivered 28 boxes of the Covid-19 testing kits at Mungula health center VI on Sunday, June 20, 2021, and the consignment was received by the in-charge facility Dr. Aniap Emmanuel.

Dr. Aniap Emmanuel on the same day handed the 28 boxes of the testing kits to the guard, Drakea Florence, who handed the items to Opio Daniel Ijuli on Monday, July 21, 2021, with full acknowledgment records.

The crafty laboratory technician now claims he has left the 20 boxes of testing kits in the laboratory but failed to adduce records.

A laboratory assistant Kakayo Beatrice vehemently denied any knowledge of the testing kits in question.

The Adjumani DHO Dr. Drametu Dominic said the theft of drugs, medical equipment, and other medical supplies is crippling health service delivery and has guaranteed to rid the health department of corrupt health workers.

Dr. Drametu Dominic said his office will follow all the cases in police and court to their logical conclusions because several crafty health workers have taken to stealing government drugs and it appears they are operating in rackets.

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Oja Michael the hospital administrator denies the allegation of impersonating the CAO but hinted that he intervened to ensure the testing kits are recovered from the suspect Opio Daniel as by commission or omission he is responsible.

He said the suspect has not been exonerated because aside from the police case he also faces disciplinary action as per the public service standing orders and on whether he impersonated CAO Wanje Michael Oja Michael said he has no explanation to offer.

Sabuni John the secretary for health warned the parties involved in the said negotiation to distance themselves or otherwise risk being arrested saying failure to adhere, he will write to the permanent secretary ministry of health to come and deal with the persons involved.

“I will not sit down and watch this kind of a mess, I will not accept this negotiation if we
allow it we are encouraging corruption” Sabuni remarked.

Story by Amacha Goli
Freelance Journalist
Email: [email protected]
Mobile Contact: +256754302407

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