PHOTO: When NMS delivered essential medicines and health supplies to Public health facilities in Cycle 4
■ How his NAWA Agency won a contract with NMS is questioneable, wants it terminated
■ NMS boss in spotlight, his connections with minister Mulimba highlighted
■ Intelligence shows, NMS released money for truck drivers but Mulimba vowed never to pay them, they should go and hung
NEWS EDITOR MEDIA
JOHN MULIMBA, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of regional Co-operation is in trouble for allegedly pocketing money meant to pay truck drivers who have been delivering National Medical Stores (NMS) consignments.
Mulimba is likely to be quizzed by the State House Anti-corruption unit headed by a no nonsense Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, to find out whether the allegations against him are true. This follows a complaint by the truck drivers under their umbrella known as Victoria Saving & Credit co-operative society, Entebbe accusing NAWA Agency said to be owned by minister Mulimba that it ran away with their hard-earned money.
In a tweet accessed by the News Editor Website, State House Anti-Corruption Unit has picked interest and it has invited management or leaders of the truck drivers’ Cooperative to, “Come and share with us further and better particulars on the matter.”
Those who may not know him, Minister John Mulimba is also the member of Parliament representing Samia Bugwe constituency on ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party ticket, in the 11th Parliament of Uganda.
Truck Drivers who petitioned the State House Anti-corruption unit allege that, Minister John Mulimba is the owner of NAWA Agency which hired them to transport NMS consignments but since last year, they have not received their payments and whenever they approach him for their money, he defiantly tells them to go and hung. He says he is untouchable and will never pay them.
“At first we thought the problem was with NMS, that had not released the money but we later discovered, our money was picked by NAWA Agency. When we asked to be paid, Hon. Mulimba who owns NAWA Agency advised us to go and hung because he would never give us our money.” One of the affected drivers whose truck was used on three different days to deliver NMS drugs but went without a pay, told this news website.
Truck drivers insist, NAWA Agency fraudulently used the money that was supposed to be paid to them. NMS released it through NAWA Agency but money got lost on the way. This is what has interested the State House Anti-corruption Unit to intervene.
“NAWA Agency is said not to have paid truck drivers yet NMS provided the funds to pay all truck drivers. This is evidence that corruption runs deep in the institutions of Uganda”, Tweeted a one Mimi Bae
For starters, National Medical Stores contracted NAWA Agency to manage transportation of all NMS cargo to transporting medicine from the Airport to their offices.
NAWA Agency is said to be owned by minister John Mulimba.
Because NAWA Agency who acted as brokers have no trucks, they subcontracted truck drivers who are under Victoria Saving & Credit co-operative society, Entebbe, to be delivering the consignments on their behalf. They agreed on a certain amount of money per hour each day that was to be paid to every truck delivering medicine. They also agreed about the cost of offloading, delays, etc.
NMS pays NAWA Agency and NAWA clears the truck drivers. Since last year, their money has not been cleared.
National Medical Stores released money to NAWA Agency to clear bills to these subcontractors/transporters.
However, NAWA Agency did not pay drivers for a third time.
The drivers tried to reach Management of NAWA Agency, but all was in vain.
Through their Association of Victoria Saving & Credit Coperative Society, drivers petitioned Uganda Clearing and Fowarding Association (UCFA) to intervene so that they are paid.
In a letter written 6th January 2022 by Victoria Saving & Credit co-operative society to NMS, they claimed for unpaid transport fees from their agent NAWA.
Letter reads, “We are drivers Association operating at Entebbe International Airport. On the 30th of August 2021, 2nd of October 2021 and on 6th of October 2021 respectively, we delivered consignments to your (NMS) premises from Entebbe Airport using our trucks registration Nos. UAU 022W, UBA 881D, UAL 127R, UAF 996W and UAY 271X through your clearing agent NAWA AGENCY.”
“Each of the vehicles was supposed to be paid UGX 200,000 (Two hundred thousand Uganda Shillings). The vehicles were not offloaded for the next two days thus accumulating car detention charges of UGX 150,000 (One hundred fifty thousands shillings) per truck, per day.” Reads truck drivers’ letter to NMS.
Letter says, these additional charges were approved by the manager NAWA AGENCY at the Airport.
“Our efforts to recover these payments have been futile since NAWA AGENCY has failed to avail us the funds despite the fact that we already delivered a service.” Henry Kabuubi, the General Secretary of Truck drivers’ cooperative told NMS noting that, “The intent of this letter is therefore to request that management of National Medical Stores where we delivered these goods intervenes in this matter and helps us recover our money.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NMS BOSS & MINISTER MULIMBA
Among the leads into State House’s investigations, is the relationship between National Medical Stores boss and Minister Mulimba.
Insiders say, the two are too close and this might be the reason why NAWA Agency boss defiantly refused to pay truck drivers saying he is untouchable, after all he feels his contract with NMS can’t be terminated. And even when drivers cry out to be paid, NMS boss looks unbothered, can’t advise his friend Mulimba to pay them.
It is alleged, the procurement team has on many incidences moved to terminate NAWA Agency contract so that they can source for a legitimate and competent service provider but the NMS boss being in bed with minister Mulimba, doesn’t want to hear about this.
Public who replied to State House tweet showing how it has picked interest in this matter, want NAWA Agency to be investigated on how it won a contract at NMS and it should be terminated for incompetence.
Truck drivers we talked to, are prepared to meet Col. Edith Nakalema’s team and have vowed never to relent until minister John Mulimba and his NAWA Agency are punished.
“If need arises, we will petition both Parliament and the President. Then he will tell them why he sent us to hung, instead of paying our money.”
Watch this space for details!
The National Medical Stores (NMS) is an autonomous government Corporation established by the National Medical Stores Statute no. 12 of 1993 in Uganda.
Among their objectives, is the efficient and economic procurement of medicines and of certain other medical supplies of good quality primary to the public health services.
Also, for the secure, safe and efficient storage, administration, distribution and supply of goods, having regard to national needs and to the specific nature of goods in question, in accordance with the national drug policy and the National Drug Authority.
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