Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | National Medical Stores wants the High Court in Kampala, to enter Judgement against the Permanent Secretary also Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi, for failure to explain where he gets the powers to order a Special Audit against Uganda Cancer Institute, over the supply and distribution of drugs there by NMS.
NMS also wants an injunction stopping Muhakanizi from any further conduct of Special Audits in breach of the provisions of the law, while the one that was carried out in 2016 should be expunged and struck off the public record.
Through its Lawyers Peter Kawuma of K and K Company Advocates, NMS says they filed the case in August 2017 and the Attorney General in this case was given 15 days to respond, which have since expired without Muhakanizi’s defence.
The matter was coming up today for parties to see how to proceed, but NMS Lawyer who had turned up with a representative of the Plaintiff were told that presiding Judge Margret Oumo was on leave, and he was given a date of 09, May 2018 when both parties are expected back in court.
NMS says by letter dated 19, July 2016 and addressed to NMS plus Uganda Cancer Institute, Muhakanizi informed the two that he had tasked the Directorate of Internal Audit in the Finance Ministry to carry out a special audit of the supply and distribution of drugs at Uganda Cancer Institute by NMS, and that he had appointed an audit team of four people.
However, NMS objected to Muhakanizi’s actions, saying the audit team that had been appointed wrongly included Paul Musimami, the Internal Auditor of Uganda Cancer Institute, which would cause a conflict of interest and would be against the rules of natural justice, considering that Uganda Cancer Institute was one of the auditees to be audited under the special audit exercise.
NMS also mantains that the law only mandates the Auditor General to carry out the said special audit, and he had actually carried out audits on NMS’ Corporation and raised no querry on the transactions in issue.
That the powers to deal with the quality of drugs supplied by NMS, lay with National Drug Authority, while the power to monitor compliance of NMS procurement processes lay with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority.