The High court in Kampala has cancelled the appointment of Donna Asiimwe Kusemererwa as the new executive director of National Drug Authority (NDA).
Justice Stephen Musota nullified the appointment on grounds that the position is non-existent. This means that Kusemererwa, a pharmaceutical management expert who had been appointed in January 2016, ceases to act as the executive director.
The ruling was read yesterday by Jolly Bahinguza, the assistant Civil Division registrar, High court. Kusemererwa's appointment was challenged in court on grounds that the position is "non-existing" and that it contravenes Section 54 (2) of the National Drug Policy and Authority Act Cap 206.
This was contained in an application filed by Florence Obiocha Nakachwa, who was challenging the termination of her contract as the head of Drug Assessment and Registration.
Through her lawyer Kituuma-Magala of Kituuma-Magala and Company Advocates, Nakachwa in a miscellaneous application number 186 of 2017, asked court to declare that Kusemererwa was holding out as secretary to the authority null and void.
She had also asked court to declare the position of executive director in which Kusemererwa was appointed is non-existent and was contravening section 54(2) of the National Drug Policy and Authority (NDPA) Act Cap 206.
Court directed that Kusemererwa immediately stops to act as the executive secretary to the NDA board and ordered that the Authority advertises the position within 60 days from the day the judgement was delivered.
Kusemererwa declined to comment after the ruling when contacted by URN.
"I have no capacity to speak to you. So I speak to you as who?" she said as she walked away.
She was later overheard on phone directing that the board holds an emergency meeting following the court's decision. In January 2016, the National Drug Authority Board of Directors appointed Kusemererwa as the new executive director after emerging as the most suitable candidate.
The position had fallen vacant in February 2015 following the dismissal of Gordon Katende Ssematikko for allegedly transferring up to Shs 14 billion from an official NDA account to an unauthorised fixed deposit account.
With over 15 years of experience in building, managing and strengthening pharmaceutical and health systems in Uganda, Kusemererwa previously worked with the Joint Medical Stores as the general ganager and at Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network as executive director.
The NDA is a government entity that regulates and controls the production, importation, distribution and use of human and veterinary medicines and other healthcare products.