Probe of Missing Gulu Drugs Goes to Luweero

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In short
Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the embattled Gulu District chairperson says he will not take any threats made by Dr. Onyachi and vowed to see him out of the district.

Dr. Nathan Onyachi, the medical superintendent Gulu Regional Referral Hospital is up in arms against the LC V chairperson, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi. Dr. Onyachi accuses Mapenzi of raiding his privately owned health Center in Luwero district reportedly in search of stolen government drugs. 

Onyachi is the proprietor of Orient Medical Center in Wobulenzi Town council. According to Dr. Onyachi, the raid embarrassed his staff in the eyes of their patients. In a September 16th press statement that URN has seen, Dr. Onyachi says the raid is the "peak of what has been a protracted campaign of hate and mistrust motivated by tribal differences against him". 

He wants Mapenduzi to apologize to him and clear the reputation he has worked for overtime. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the embattled Gulu District chairperson says he will not take any threats made by Dr. Onyachi and vowed to see him out of the district. Mapenduzi accuses Dr. Onyachi of chronic absenteeism, abuse of office, failure to pay arrears of hospital staff and hoodwinking Gulu hospital staff to work for him in Wobulenzi at the expense of Gulu hospital.

He says that during the raid, they found Canan Katerega, a staff in the psychiatric department of Gulu hospital working at Orient Medical Center. Uganda Radio Network is in possession of a copy of a police certificate issued to Dr. Nathan Onyachi after the said search on his health center. It bears the stamp of the Wobulenzi OC CID and was signed by D/ASP Bena Nandudu, the officer who led the search.  

According to the search certificate, no government drug was found during the search. Orient Medical Center is one of the many drug shops Gulu district officials and Police investigators have visited over a spate of theft of government drugs including Hepatitis B vaccines over the last two weeks. Some of the missing hospital equipment have been recovered from drug shops affiliated to health works in government facilities.


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.