Kirudu hospital pharmacists mentioned in the undercover investigative documentary-” Stealing from the sick” which was aired on BBC has died.
The documentary was also aired on a local TV station NBS and exposed how drugs are stolen from government hospitals across the country.
Richard Olaja the pharmacist whose image appeared in the documentary was found unconscious at Lucky Guest House in Rubaga village, in Kimaka Jinja district.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Patrick Onyango confirmed Olaja death and referred Sunday Vision to Kiira region police Spokesperson Diana Nandawula.
“It’s true Olaja is dead. He reportedly came to Jinja and booked a guest house on July 19 but on Friday the receptionist became concerned after he failed to come out of his room. He immediately contacted the manager who called in the police. When we broke the room door, we found him unconscious and rushed him to Jinja Referral Hospital but his family transferred him to Nile International Hospital where he passed,” Nandawula said.
He noted that police were investigating the case but she could not rule out suicide. Sunday Vision has learnt that prior to the investigative documentary running, Olaja had been trying to seek audience from a blogger Kakensa Media to try and give out his side of the story.
According to Kakensa, “a few weeks before the story was aired he contacted me claiming there is a story which was due to be aired on NBS on the 17th in which he was recorded as being involved in a national drug selling syndicate and yet he didn’t. He briefly told me he was actually the one who informed National Drug Authority officials about the secret campaign Solomon Sserwanga was carrying out which led to Serwanja’s home raid and subsequent arrest,” Kakensa said.
Kakensa says that he was busy and excused himself promising to call him later but he forgot.
In the video, Olaja is seen negotiating with the team from BBC and boasting how he could get them drugs. The investigating team later gave him $100 (sh370,000) and promised to come back for the drugs. However, panicked when the team went to Kiruddu hospital to pick the drugs and asked them why they had packed where there were cameras. He decided to walk back to the hospital and never sealed the deal.
Kakensa said that “On Monday when the story was aired on BBC, he shared the link with me and called me again. He seemed to be in alot of panic, I comforted him and told him to relax, just like the previous time, he still insisted he was innocent and just a victim of circumstance. He claimed that Serwanja’s documentary was political, some white man was funding this project just to expose the government’s loopholes in every sector to give political mileage to the current opposition leader,” Kakensa said.
He says he never knew that this incident would lead to someone’s death. “Probably because he was a young graduate 27yrs old who had just joined Kiruddu hospital, he still had our grand parent’s morals and thought he will be rejected everywhere after this saga,” Kakensa said.
Nandawula confirmed that Olaja will be buried in Pallisa today.
Parliament last week reviewed the documentary and called upon Government to arrest and prosecute all those who had been implicated in the video.