NBS journalist Serwanja turns self in to police, gets Health Ministry backing – Watchdog Uganda

NBS journalist Solomon Serwanja has turned himself in at Central Police Station in a dramatic fashion. Serwanja arrived at CPS amidst tight security.

Reports emerging indicate that Serwanja and fellow scribes from BBC, had briefed junior health minister Minister Sarah Opendi about their ongoing drugs theft investigation.

The ministry of health has issued a statement supporting the media investigations into the drugs racket. It is said it was concerned that “there still exists drug theft rackets depriving the population of medicines when they need it.”

Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, senior publicist for the ministry of health saying, “as a ministry, we support any endeavor that is aimed at helping government to expose individuals involved in stealing government medicines and other commodities.”

Serwanja reported to police after going missing for two days and a few hours after his wife Vivian Nakaliika, a publicist for Ministry of Health, was released.

Vivian and journalists from BBC were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday this week respectively as police mounted a manhunt to stop an investigation into a medical drugs racket involving big wigs in government. Metropolitan Police spokesman Patrick Onyango said the story was intended to embarrass government.

On Wednesday, BBC journalists Mohammed Kassim and Rashid Kaweesawere were arrested before condoning off Serwanja’s home in Mukono. His wife Vivian Nakaliika was arrested on Thursday morning after allegedly finding a consignment of drugs in the home.

Serwanja however didn’t turn himself in, and has not been seen since Wednesday. NBS said in a statement on Thursday that they didn’t know about his whereabouts.

The arrest was condemned across the world. The journalists were supposed to appear in court this afternoon, however police granted the suspects bond, and charged them possession of government drugs. The charges confirm the reports that the subject of the NBS, BBC investigation was about theft of drugs.

Ugandan hospitals have been known to lack drugs something authorities blame on drug thefts.

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