Wednesday, October 17, 2012

UNFPA shiped defective condoms to Uganda. Lawsuit against UN (While UN shields UNFPA and local UNDP Uganda from being investigated)

Corrupt procurement practices @ UNDP/UNFPA Uganda result in defective condoms

Click here for this @ The Observer:

A man draws condoms from a dispenser
A Ugandan paediatrician has drafted a petition intended to force the government to remove all male condoms manufactured in Malaysia from circulation in the country because they are allegedly defective.
But the ministry of Health yesterday dismissed the doctor’s claims as false. They were based on brands, such as Engabu, that were withdrawn from the market  three years ago.
Through his lawyers, Lukwago & Company Advocates, Dr Joseph Sseremba is suing the Attorney General and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for allowing male condoms of the Latex and Engabu brands into the Ugandan market, yet they do not meet the acceptable quality level set by Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).
While the contested Latex condoms are manufactured by Guilin Latex Factory and Qingdao Double Butterfly Group Company, the Engabu brand, manufactured in China in 2004 with an expiry date of 2009, was condemned.
Sseremba, who operates a medical centre in Kabalagala in the outskirts of Kampala, on August 17, 2012, gave the Attorney General and UNFPA 45 days to comply with his demands, but the time has elapsed without the parties taking any action, hence the plaint.
“The plaintiff seeks an order directing  the government  to bring  before [the High] court  all the defective male Latex condoms in government stores that do not meet the acceptable quality level (AQL) set by the Uganda [Nationala Bureau of Standards], reference number FDUS ISO 4074, 2002 @ UNBS 2009 for destruction,” the petition reads in part.
On the Engabu brand, Sseremba seeks a declaration that the action by the ministry of Health of distributing the already condemned condoms is “fraudulent, illegal and unlawful”.
“Your humble petitioner seeks an order for a statutory reward of Shs 2.2bn to the plaintiff as provided for by section 19 of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2010,” the plaint goes on.
Sseremba’s lawyer, Chrysostom Katumba, told The Observer on Friday that dragging the two parties to court has been the last resort after his client exhausted all peaceful avenues.
“Our client, among other avenues, drew the attention of the 9th Parliament when he wrote to the Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, on February 23, 2012. She referred this matter to the Sessional Committee on Trade, Tourism and Industry, which invited him on March 27, 2012, but took no convincing step to solve the complaint,” Katumba said.
On his part, Sseremba says that apart from being defective, the condoms in question are porous, have a low bust volume and bad odour, and deteriorate even in the best of conditions. Worse still, he adds, many are already expired.
“This was backed with expert analytical evidence of particular types, including Engabu and Guilin. Another Chinese brand is Double Butterfly, which also smells foul and whose specific origin is hardly traceable between various manufacturers; and whose packaging and labelling do not conform to model specifications and AQL,” Sseremba adds.
In the plaint, UNFPA is faulted because when the Uganda government engaged the organisation in the procurement of male Latex condoms, it failed to comply with the specifications and guidelines for Condom Procurement 2003 to which it subscribes. Sseremba contends that UNFPA’s act has subjected the lives of several Ugandans to the risk of acquiring HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and other related risks.
To make matters worse, he says, after the Engabu condoms were condemned, it is alleged that the Uganda government, through the Uganda Aids Commission (the purchaser), went ahead and entered into a contract with Buchmann in a joint venture with Ms Guangzhou Guangxiang Tire Enterprises group (the supplier) for the purchase of another batch of 80 million condoms of the same brand, and distributed them to the public.
“Instead of destroying the above mentioned Engabu condoms, the ministry of Health went ahead and fraudulently and secretly attached a yellow sticker with the words ‘Tested for quality’ on each consumer package and distributed the same condemned condoms to the public,” the plaint states.
Sseremba adds that although he informed the Inspector General of Police about these alleged anomalies on January 23, 2012, no investigation has commenced to date. However, Ms Rukia Nakamatte, spokeswoman for the ministry of Health, last evening said all condoms entering the country were tested according to international standards, and approved, both before and after shipment.
Nakamatte further pointed out that all condoms were sourced from prequalified manufacturers, with a certificate of good manufacturing practice approved by both the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Population Fund.

Click here for this @ The Observer:

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