President Museveni and his former prime minister and competitor in the 2016 presidential elections, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi have met again for the second time under one month.
The two former strong allies met in Togo’s capital Lome, where Museveni is attending a two-day France – Africa summit on drug trafficking and counterfeit medicines on the continent.
Mbabazi was one of the officials who were lined up to welcome President Museveni at the Lome- Tokoin Gnassingbe Eyadema International airport, alongside Togo’s president Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe.
Museveni and Mbabazi, exchanged pleasantries and chatted briefly all smiles. The two had just met at the former’s farm in Kisozi at the end of December, sparking rumors of a possible deal to bring Mbabazi back in the cabinet.
Mbabazi’s visit to Kisozi was in his capacity as a board director of the Brazaville Foundation, a charity organization based in the United Kingdom whose patron is HRH Prince Micheal of Kent and is led by Sir David Richmond, also the organisers of the summit.
Seven African leaders from the Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Uganda will sign an agreement for stronger legislation to criminalise the sale of fake drugs at a two-day summit on counterfeit medicines being held under the theme; “Fake drugs a real crime”.
The Brazzaville Foundation is expected to lead to a “Lomé Initiative” to end the illegal trafficking and use of fake drugs, and also help to combat a deadly trade that claims hundreds of thousands of lives every year in Africa and funds transnational crime and terrorism.
The world health organization estimates that every year, some 100,000 people across Africa die from taking falsified or substandard medication. According to reports, globally, the trade-in counterfeit pharmaceuticals is worth up to US$200bn annually with Africa among the worst affected regions.
Weak legislation, poor healthcare systems, and widespread poverty have encouraged the growth of this parallel — and deadly — market. Since 2013, Africa has made up 42 percent of the fake medicine seized worldwide. According to experts, the two drugs most likely to be out-of-date or poor, ineffective copies are antibiotics and antimalarials.
Museveni, who is representing the East African region will be making his presentation today. East Africa is one of the regions facing increased threats from drug trafficking and counterfeit medicines.