Drivers who in August last year delivered a consignment of medicines and other related items belonging to National Medical Stores (NMS) are yet to receive their payment, Plus News has learnt.
NMS is a government-owned organisation in Uganda, mandated to procure, store and distribute human medication and health-related consumable items to government-owned health units in all districts of Uganda.
Available documents show that National Medical Stores through its clearing agent, Nawa Agency, in August and October last year contracted Victoria Savings and Credit Cooperative Society, a drivers’ association, to deliver the consignment from the airport to its premises in Entebbe.
The delivery was done on August 30, 2021, October 2, 2021 and on October 6, 2021 trucks number UAE 022W, UBA 881D, UAL 127R, UAF 996W and UAY 271X.
However, the drivers have to date not received any single penny and their efforts to the effect have hit a dead end.
According to a January 6 letter by the drivers to NMS claiming their unpaid transport fees, each of the five vehicles was meant to be paid Shs200,000. Additionally, the vehicles were not offloaded for the next two days thus accumulating car detention charges of Shs150,000 per truck per day.
“These additional charges were approved by the Manager Nawa Agency at the airport. Our efforts to recover these payments have been futile since Nawa Agency has denied us the funds despite the fact that we already delivered a service,” reads the letter in parts.
The group is concerned about the silence of National Medical Stores on the matter despite their continued pleas to reign-in on Nawa Agency to effect the payment.
“We have reached all the concerned people at NMS and we ignored, we haven’t been helped. We have a feeling that there is foul play on this matter. We heard that some NMS official collaborated with their clients, Nawa Agency, to steal our money,” one of the drivers told this news website.
“If National Medical Stores gave Nawa Agency the money to pay truck drivers, how come they have never recieved a single coin for all this long?” he adds.
Insiders also say that Nawa Agency contract expired but nms kept extending it for three times without following the known procurement process, all with the help of NMS officials involved in such illegalities.
National Medical Stores has never officially responded to the issue despite being reached to by the association.
Our efforts to get a comment from NMS officials were futile since their known telephone contacts were out of reach by publication of this story.