A fortnight ago, operatives raided Dr Charles Lagu’s home in Mbarara District to effect an arrest sanctioned by State House anti-corruption head Col. Edith Nakalema who has the will of the President.
Whereas Lagu first dramatized the arrest, he would later hand himself in to Mbarara Police and later transferred to Kampala. He was charged with corruption at Buganda Road Court and remanded to Kitalya Prison pending his bail application.
Today (Friday) Charles Lagu is expected in Court.
An investigator at Nakalema’s office earlier told this website Mr Lagu had been hunted for over a month on corruption related charges following investigation at National Animal Genetic Resource Center and Data Bank (NAGRIC & DB) whose finding were shocking.
“We had been looking for him for over a month, so he knew we wanted to arrest him and he decided to hide. That is why after getting a tip that he was at his home we deployed heavily to prevent him from escaping,” said an investigator at the Unit.
While in prison, Lagu was interdicted by his line Minister Minister Vincent Bamulanzeki Ssempijja while directing Board Chairman Dr. Johnson Nkuuhe to immediately find his replacement.
However, a clique of people including MPs, government officials and lawyers have ganged up against Sempijja’s decision to interdict Lagu saying it is illegal.
But according to Uganda Public Service Standing Orders an interdiction should occur while an investigation over a particular misconduct is being carried out.
And in Lagu’s case there are wide range of investigations being conducted by Nakalema led team against Dr Lagu alleged misuse of public office, defying the President’s directive, mismanagement of money and causing government a financial loss.
This website had launched an independent investigation into the conduct NAGRIC’s Executive Director Dr Charles Lagu who earlier had been perceived to have got the job on merit without external influence.
While interviewing several workers of the entity, many didn’t have kind words for Mr Lagu who they accuse of playing a tribal card in office.
“He decided to lay off all staff who are perceived as Baganda and replaced them with Northerners saying NAGRIC must be led by West Nilers,” said a staff who asked not to be named because the matter is in Court. This had created displeasure at the institution resulting into the departure of knowledgeable scientists who felt frustrated by Lagu’s work approach.
In fact, while Nakalema was conducting her investigations, workers raised this allegation in presence of Lagu.
Also we established that Lagu had created allies within government who benefited from his schemes and in return pay allegiance and protection in case trouble arises. That is why many MPs, Ministers and other prominent Ugandans have come out to defend Lagu as reputable but mostly they are fighting his interdiction.
This website obtained files with names of over 1000 Ugandans who have been “gifted” with animals including hens, goats, pigs and cows from NAGRIC farms.
MPs from West Nile were given 200 brooded goats and 5000 chicken.
It should be noted that the process of brooding these animals is costly and is facilitated by tax payers’ money.
Disappearance of 41 bulls
Investigators are probing how brooded bulls totaling to 51 disappeared from NAGRIC stock farms which include Aswa, Kasolwe, Lusenke, Njeru, Rubona and many others across the country without accountability.
However, Lagu claims that he had donated the bulls to Hon Ssempijja during the Kalungu NRM celebrations event
We have since established that the bulls Lagu brought to the function were not 41 as alleged but 10.
And he didn’t bring them on the Minister’s orders as earlier alleged but he willingly contributed them.
According to information abstained, in October 2019 Minister Ssempijja wrote to all Ministry of Agriculture agencies about the scheduled event to celebrate NRM achievements in Kalungu District attendance and showcase achievements under his policy guidance since since 2016.
In his memo, Ssempijja communicated that all the agencies must showcase their innovations at the event.
Some of the agencies include NAADS, Control of Trypanosomiasis in Uganda, Diary Development Authority (DDA), NAGRIC, UCDA, among others.
All these agencies received one generic communique of the Minister requesting them to attend and showcase.
For the record the Minister never asked for any gifts within his memo.
While at the event NAGRIC boss presented 10 brooded which he would later hand over to the Minister as a contribution to the showcasing event from the agency. However, Lagu had planned a move to inflate the number of the bulls and also allege that all the 41 had been given Ministry of Agriculture during the event.
The National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB) was established by the Animal Breeding Act, 2001. It’s one of the statutory semi-autonomous bodies of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). Formation of NAGRC&DB was part of the fulfilment of the aspirations in the National Animal Breeding Policy (1997), document and the Action Plan for its implementation providing guidelines to all actors in the animal breeding and production value-chain. The actors included input suppliers, farmers, companies, researchers, extension workers and civic leaders on suitable breeds for the various ecological and production systems.