were on Friday locked out of the select committee probing the Minister of
Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Monica Musenero regarding the
utilization of funds meant to facilitate the COVID-19 vaccine development.
This followed a request by Dr. Musenero that the presentations on the status of
the ongoing Covid-19 vaccine research be heard by MPs in camera because they need
to protect intellectual property.
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The Minister who was accompanied by her lawyer Allan Nshimye from Nshimye and
Company Advocates and other technical officials told the MPs that she would
avail a comprehensive written response to all questions raised by MPs regarding
the utilization of funds and development of a Covid-19 vaccine next week.
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Following Dr. Musenero’s submission, the Select Committee Vice Chairperson
Xavier Kyooma Akampurira said that the section of the presentation largely
covers the research being undertaken that needs to be protected. He however
said that the media would be allowed to cover issues of accountability.
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The committee comprising of Butambala Woman MP Aisha Kabanda, Bukooli Central
MP Solomon Silwany, Otuke North MP Paul Omara, and Nwoya County MP Tony Awany were recently named by Deputy Speaker Anita Among to establish the progress in
the development of a locally manufactured COVID-19 vaccine, establish the
amount of money released for the research and others.
The other terms of reference are establishing the innovation and COVID-19
vaccine development, establishing how effective such funds have been utilized,
and establishing challenges faced in the development of COVID-19 vaccines and
The investigation stems from documentary evidence tabled before Parliament on
Tuesday by Ntungamo Municipality MP Yona Musinguzi seeking to implicate
Musenero regarding the utilization of funds meant to facilitate the COVID-19
Musinguzi demanded accountability of funds so far released towards the
development of a vaccine under the Presidential Scientific Initiative on
Epidemics-PRESIDE, a brainchild of President Yoweri Museveni led by Dr.
Musenero, who was a Presidential Advisor on Epidemics at the time it was
Among documents tabled before parliament by Musinguzi is the budget of 31
billion Shillings that was appropriated to PRESIDE. According to Musinguzi,
this money was then channeled to different individual scientists who have
allegedly denied receiving the funds.
told parliament that amidst this questionable expenditure, PRESIDE is now
seeking an additional budget of 50 billion Shillings towards the vaccine
Also tabled by MP Musinguzi is a letter dated March 15, 2021, authored by OO
Obongo, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry Science, and Technology, writing to
Dr. Musenero, to give accountability for 31 Billion Shillings.
Musinguzi appeared before the Committee on Thursday and formally presented his
claim and documents before the investigating team.