Sacked National Drug Authority Chief Petitions Museveni

Fired for allegedly transferring $5m to unauthorized banks, Gordon Sematiko, the former executive director of National Drug Authority (NDA) has written to President Museveni asking to be re-instated.

In a March 24 petition, Sematiko alleges that the board sacked him unlawfully.

“Your Excellency, the board, which has caused government an avoidable loss, suspended me alleging that I had transferred money to an unauthorized bank. I pray that you direct my reinstatement and renewal of my contract since the reasons aanced by the board do not justify the hostile actions,” Sematiko wrote.

Sematiko was appointed on July 1, 2011 and dismissed in February 2015, four months to the expiry of his contract.He had applied for his contract’s renewal. In his petition, Sematiko said that because NDA had accumulated Shs 18bn over the years, the board resolved to construct a three-tower office building using the said funds.

But because the process of approving the plan and hiring contractors would take some time, the board resolved to deposit the money on short-term fixed deposit accounts.

“Following a resolution made at the 38th board meeting sitting on 26th February 2014, we fixed $5m in Standard chartered bank for three months the principal of $5m fetched $37,600.69 in a 3.5 per cent interest by maturity after three months in September 2014,” Sematiko said.

However, Yusuf Sembatya Kimbowa, a former acting board chairman and now a board member representing the public, said the minutes Sematiko was quoting were not authentic.

“The board has never authorized him to deposit the money in Standard Chartered bank but in one of our two banks we use and that is one of the reasons the board wanted the matter to be re-investigated. Police is investigating Sematiko and some board members have so far made statements there.”

Sembatya said the board demanded an investigation because if Sematiko had the guts to deposit that amount of money in a bank not known to board members, they wanted to find out what else he did behind their back.

Source : The Observer

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