By Ruth Anderah
Prof Patrick Ogwang has asked the High Court in Kampala to dismiss the case filed by lawyer George William Alenyo who says he is not a lawful owner of the Covidex- a herbal covid treatment drug.
The lawyer also wants Prof Ogwang to remit all proceeds from the sale of the drug to the consolidated fund.
However, Prof Ogwang together with his company Jena Herbals Uganda Ltd which produces Covidex states that the case against them is political, an abuse of court process, and has no legal basis and as such should be dismissed with costs.
Early this month, Alenyo together with the Christian Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture, Industry, Trade and Tourism dragged Prof Ogwang together with his company and others including Attorney General and National Drug Authority (NDA) for alleged failure to perform their statutory duties.
The lawyer faults the respondents for failure to do due diligence to establish the true ownership of Covidex drug, failure to collect taxes and remit it to government coffers, failure to obtain environmental impact assessment of the impact of the ongoing extraction or exploitation of millions of the tree species expected to be used to make millions of veils of Covidex among others.
He also faults the Attorney General for failing to advise the government on the revenue collected from the sale of covidex that should be placed in the consolidated fund.
According to the petitioners, covidex was developed using government resources and funds from the consolidated Fund.
They contend Prof Ogwang, a civil servant who draws Salary the Consolidated Fund at Mbarara University of Science and Technology developed covidex from the government of Uganda facilities and laboratories and with the staff of University and Pharma Bio Centre.
However, in defence, Prof Ogwang says covidex drug was developed at Jena Herbals Ltd which is outside Mbarara University in 2020 with private funds and the Ugandan government only disbursed funds to the said university in April 2021 for evaluation purposes of the already available product.
The Covidex drug hit the market more than a month ago with claims that it heals the novel COVID-19. It was later approved by the NDA last week as a supportive treatment in the management of viral infections.