The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) purchased four rats meant for developing of Covid-19 vaccines at Shs46.6m, the Auditor General’s Report has revealed.
This implies that each mouse was purchased at Shs11.6m instead of Shs8m which Dr. Monica Musenero the Minister of Science and Technology had told Parliament last year.
“Out of the 8 humanized mice that had been budgeted to cost Shs48M and valued at Shs6M each, only four were delivered at a total cost of Shs46.6M. I further noted that ordinary mice worth Shs10m were not purchased for the R&D 11 project,” reads part of the report.
John Muwanga, the Auditor General queried how the covid-19 funds that were given to the science ministry were utilized.
According to the report, MoST received funds for Covid in two batches with the first Shs5.3Bn paid in 2019/2020 and Shs31Bn in 2020/2021.
Muwanga faulted how the ministry spent these funds, from vaccine development, and fuel among other logistics.
The ministry according to the report, for example, commenced research in the manufacture of the COVID-19 vaccine without putting in place a framework for intellectual property rights commercialization of publicly funded innovations, research, and development.
The report partially confirms the query by certain members of Parliament who have on several occasions queried how the covid-19 funds were spent by MoST
Hon. Yona Musinguzi the MP of Ntungamo municipality who is also the Chairperson of the Select Committee of Science, Technology, and Innovation since last year accused Dr. Musenero and her ministry of hoodwinking Ugandans that they are developing a vaccine that is “non-existent”
“There was no indication of a patented candidate vaccine and there was no sign of it being patented in the pipeline casting doubt in its authentication,” Musinguzi told Parliament on May 22, 2022.
Muwanga’s report also revealed that the Lab Animal House under Makerere University, and PCR and anti-body diagnostic kits projects which had a total approved proposal budget of Shs2.92Bn had received a total of Shs3.83Bn without sufficient justification which had resulted in a total overpayment of Shs904m.
The ministry also spent Shs5.2Bn and Shs15B.8Bn for the procurement of research equipment from suppliers, “who hadn’t been prequalified,”
The report says the purchase didn’t cater to research in market price as stipulated in the procurement regulations.