KAMPALA – The National Drug Authority – NDA has described Tickoff, an acaricide – produced by Pastor Robert Kayanja of Miracle Centre Cathedral – and two other as contaminated with chemicals that were banned.
Abiaz Rwamwiri – the NDA Public Relations Officer said an investigation had discovered that the product, which has been distributed in more than districts – including Kiruhura, Lyantonde, Sembabule, Gomba, Isingiro and parts of Karamoja is laced with diazinon – a highly concentrated fumigant used to kill bedbugs, bats, and termites.
Tickoff – according NDA was also found to be contaminated with Fipronil – a spray that was banned for food-producing animals because of the long withdrawal period due to the potential risks it could have on human health in addition to Benalaxyl – a fungicide, which was found to have cancer-causing components.
According to a statement issued by NDA on Tuesday – the chemicals were being mixed with animal feeds and silverfish (Mukene), packaged without an expiry date, ingredient information, or warning.
Rwamwiri said that NDA received a tip-off about the product after the pastor started advertising the anti-tick drug during services at his church claiming that the product kills animal parasites- instantly.
But after doubting the drug’s efficacy – Rwamwiri said NDA teamed up with scientists from the Makerere University School of Veterinary Medicine to conduct trials on the medicine – who denied having ever worked with the pastor and his colleagues to develop the said drug.
The police have since impounded over 100 samples from his church stores – taking the same to both – NDA and government Chemist Laboratories.
While NDA said it was engaging police to hold Pastor Kayanja and his accomplices accountable for their criminal acts – the public – especially farmers in Buganda, Western and North Eastern Uganda where the product had been distributed were strongly warned against using ‘Tickoff.’
“We hereby direct all farmers who had received supplies for product to drop at any police station for easy collection,” said NDA in a statement.
Pastor Kayanja has since succeeded in avoiding to comment about the issue as he couldn’t respond to his known telephones contacts.
But a source claimed that the saga would die in its infancy – because the ‘pastor was only an agenda of some important person in the country.’
“What happened when (in 2007) the same pastor was found in possession of fully loaded trailers of untaxed wines,” reasoned the source.