BY GODFREY OLUKYA
KAMPALA: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2021
Deputy Speaker Among has instituted an adhoc Committee that will look into allegations that Monica Musenero, Minister of Science and Technology mismanaged billions of funds released for the research leading to the manufacture of covid-19 vaccines.
While announcing the Committee composition during the plenary sitting, Among gave the Committee a cocktail of terms of reference and ordered the Committee to report back to Parliament within two weeks.
The Select committee constituted under rule 190 will be headed by Xavier Kyooma (Ibanda North), Paul Omara (Otuke County), Aisha Kabanda (DWR Butambala), Solomon Silywany (Bukooli Central) and Tony Awany (Nwoya County).
The Deputy Speaker asked the Committee to establish the progress of the locally manufactured Covid-19 vaccine, establish the amount of funds released for research and innovation and covid-19 vaccine development, and establish how effective such funds have been utilized.
Among also asked the ad-hoc Committee to look into the challenges faced in development of covid-19 vaccines.
The constitution of the ad-hoc committee followed a stream of documents tabled by Ntungamo Municipality Yona Musinguzi detailing the how Minister Musenero allegedly misused funds to a tune of sh31bn allocated to the Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics (PRESIDE) meant for the development of Uganda’s Covid-19 vaccine.
Musinguzi cited an incidence of sh1.8bn reportedly sent to a doctor at Uganda Virus Research Institute but the scientist has denied ever receiving the money.
The Musinguzi dossier accused Musenero of hatching her fraud racket with the help of her husband Michael Masanza and Abbey Winston Werekhwa who is a nephew to the Minister.
Musinguzi also warned Parliament that if they continue injecting funds into Covid-19 research under the leadership of Minister Musenero, taxpayers will lose out.
He claims that research and development of a vaccine can only be developed in a bio-safety lab level four and such a laboratory is only found in South Africa and the one Makerere University has together with Uganda Virus Research Institute is at level two.