KAMPALA – The Uganda government and the World Food Programme (WFP) face legal action over contaminated food they supplied in Napak and Amudat, Karamoja region.
In a notice of intention to sue written to the Country Director WFP (Uganda) Mr. El Khidir Daloum, the director legal and corporate Affairs of Anti-Counterfeit Network Africa (ACN), Mr. Fred Muwema, said: “We have learnt that your organization has been involved in the supply of supper cereal also described as corn soy blend fortified food in Napak and Amudat which are found in Karamoja.”
A four-page notice dated March 20, 2019, also adds “we have also read media reports where you have confirmed that WFP suspended the distribution of the above-impugned food last week because it was suspected to be poisoned or contaminated. This would amount to counterfeit or fake food.”
The intention to sue follows media reports that indicate that three people are suspected to have died due to suspected food poisoning and more 250 people have symptoms of confusion, vomiting, headache, high fever and abdominal pain after consuming food supplied by WFP.
Mr. Muwema said: “This is a very serious food safety incident that appears to be evidently in breach of the Codex Alimentarius International Food Standards 1963 (as amended).”
ACN has also demanded a report from WFP to see whether due diligence was carried out on the supplier and whether the standards expected in the distribution process were adhered to or if they have supported the affected families.
On Friday, March 22, Mr. Muwema said they intend to institute a legal case of negligence, causing injury and death against WFP, government and a Turkish supplier.
He added that they will also be seeking a court order calling for an independent audit into the matter and damages for the injured plus people who have died as a result of consuming the suspected poisoned food.