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Two health workers jailed over theft of govt drugs

Adjumani, (UG): The Grade One Magistrate, Mr Okot Michael Friday remanded two health workers attached to Ukusijoni Health Centre III in Adjumani District to Openzinzi prison on charges of theft and misappropriation of government drugs.

Court on Friday, February 2nd heard that Ayikoru Joyce, 49, an assistant Nursing Officer and Iceta Denis, 45, a security guard attached to the facility on the 11th day of November 2023, allegedly stole 6 boxes of malaria testing kits, 6 boxes of coarterm (anti-malaria drugs) and 2 boxes of detergents all valued at shs 1.5m, the property of the government of Uganda.

Prosecution led by the Adjumani resident State Attorney, Minya Swalik told the court that inquiries into the case are complete and asked court to fix a hearing date.

The accused persons however both denied the charges and the court remanded them to prison till February 15, 2024, when the case comes for mention and the court will equally entertain bail applications.

The two embattled health workers now face interdiction since public service standing orders stipulate that any officer who is formerly charged in courts of law should be interdicted pending determination of the case.

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This brings to three the number of health workers charged in court over theft of government drugs, Mr Onigo Charles the Adjumani hospital pharmacist was arrested by police in January 2022, after he was found in possession of 3240 doses of coarterm anti-malaria drugs valued at shs 16m.

The intelligence community in Adjumani however blames the rampant theft of drugs on elaborate loopholes in supervision and deployment as some health workers have overstayed at the same station turning into village chiefs.

In a related development, the same court also remanded Mala Collins; a 33-year-old resident of Kiraba village in Ukusijoni sub-county to Openzinzi prison after he was charged with theft of 18 bags of sunflowers valued at shs 1.8m from Esia Mixed farm owned by Gen.Moses Ali.

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The accused person Mala Collins denied the charge and was remanded till February 15, 2024, when the case comes up for mention.

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