HOW NAGRC FOUGHT OFF ITALIAN SEMENS GIANT & SAVED GOVERNMENT 7BN
By Mulengera Reporters
In around August last year, an Italian firm Insame SPA improperly imported into Uganda 1255Kgs of semen (used to facilitate artificial insemination programs by GoU). And the idea was to leverage on its powerful connection to stampede NAGRIC & DB, a government agency charged with livestock genetics multiplication and preservation into parting with over Euros 1.8m(roughly translating into Shs7.2bn).
Insame SPA is owned by CEO Camilo Canizzaro who has over the years distinguished himself as powerful and influential in Uganda where he has vast connections in high places. So indifferent is Camilo that his company moved itself into bringing the semen to the country without NAGRIC (which had previously bought as much through Buwagi Agro Traders Ltd) ever ordering for such.
The GoU procedures are that you can only legibly supply following an LPO and an elaborate procurement process with the concerned PDE going through the well laid procedures to contract you as supplier to supply stuff. Considering this to be an act of dumping which Ugandan laws criminalize, the NAGRIC management refused to accept the consignment rightly arguing they hadn’t ordered for such. Yet the Italians insisted NAGRIC must pay.
This prompted NAGRIC ED Dr. Charles Lagul to raise a red flag by writing to URA’s Commissioner Customs calling on him to become keenly interested in the matter. He suggested that the shipment that was being kept at the Airport be forced back to Italy at the cost of Camilo and his company.
Lagul copied his letter to the Ambassador of Italy and encouraged URA to do the same following up for the rectificational procedures to be taken against Camilo whose acts Lagul maintained amounted to dumping.
URA duly received the letter on 16th December 2019 and we couldn’t readily establish which steps they took to remedy the situation. But prior to the URA letter, Lagul had written a strongly worded letter to Camilo protesting the anomaly associated with delivering stuff to NAGRIC without prior notice and in absence of any order from the entity. In the September letter, Lagul disclosed to the shrewd Italian aspects of the Ugandan legal regime that define and illegalize dumping of goods into the country.
Lagul acknowledged existence of an MoU between NAGRIC and Insame SPA Italy but clarified the same doesn’t oblige NAGRIC to accept consignments it has never ordered for from the semens dealer. He directed Camilo to ship back his semen to Italy at his own cost because there is no way NAGRIC would take in supplies that were never asked or budgeted for the running FY. That way the Shs7.2bn the Italian firm was demanding for was saved for the GoU. This naturally didn’t go down well with the Italian firm and its Ugandan proxies. They organized whistleblowers who wrote to Col Edith Nakalema unsustainably claiming that the NAGRIC bosses rejected the consignment because the Italian suppliers refused to offer the anticipated kickbacks before getting the Shs7.2bn payment.
Nakalema has since been to NAGRIC Entebbe offices where he got all the necessary verbal and written explanations from the concerned staff like Dr. Christopher Mukasa (technical manager) and procurement officer Ezekiel Mukanya who defended their anti-Italian decision in the presence of line Minister Bright Rwamirama and newly-re-appointed NAGRIC board chairman Dr. Johnson Nkuuhe. Nakalema’s secretariat says they will continue closely looking into the matter to establish the whole truth of the circumstances under which the Italian anomalous shipment found its way into the country.