Mathias Magoola, a controversial businessman who accompanied a ‘scientist’ to meet with President Museveni to discuss measures of countering the spread of Coronavirus in Uganda was once arrested in India in a $20m fraud case.
Accompanied by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Magoola told President Museveni at State Lodge Nakasero that Safraz K. Niaz would introduce “the only product in the world that kills the virus (Corona) including SARS.”
When Museveni asked if the product would kill other viruses “after this Coronavirus is over,” Magoola and Safraz responded that the new treatment would kill “all viruses including bacteria.”
Magoola, whom Kadaga described as a “scientist from Busoga”, said he had teamed up with Safraz, “an advisor to the US Congress and government” to manufacture the treatment at DEI Group in Luzira, Kampala.
Kadaga said it would be the first product that “instantly kills the Corona virus.”
The claims have since raised eyebrows considering that the finest laboratories in the world are yet to come up with a treatment or vaccine for the Coronavirus.
Research being conducted in Germany and Israel were yet to produce any tangible results on addressing the Coronavirus threat.
Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwiine appeared to pour cold water on Magoola’s claims.
“What we know is that they (Magoola and Safraz are going to set up a factory to manufacture sanitizer,” Dr Atwine tweeted.
“That is what we heard. We are sorry we are yet to get more information on this,” she added.
Ugandans have since taken to social media, calling for a robust inquiry into Magoola’s plans considering that the president has previously fallen victim to shady businessmen.
President Museveni has been giving away prime land to fake investors and even approving deals that have cost the taxpayer billions of shillings.
Here is evidence of the Prof's visit. pic.twitter.com/gob8FlmEtd
— Rebecca Kadaga (Official) (@RebeccaKadagaUG) March 16, 2020
Magoola and Safraz’s public records have since generated debate, with many wondering if they will deliver on their commitment to the president.
While Safraz is not well known in the biochemistry world, Magoola has been previously caught on the long arm of the law.
Magoola in 2013 traveled with lawyer Isaac Musumba to India, accusing Videocon of failure to pay for a mining concession license worth $37m.
Armed with an Interpol warrant of arrest, Magoola tried to arrest the Indian managers at Videocon.
However, the Indian police said Magoola and Musumba told the office staff at Videocon to inform the four directors about their visit and get in touch with them at the Trident Hotel, where they were staying.
A legal team from Videocon met them at the hotel.
When they asked about the purpose of their visit, Magoola and his team told them they would settle the matter if the four directors paid them 20 million dollars, or else they would be arrested.
The legal team informed their office of the trio’s demands, upon which Marven Fernandes, one of the directors, approached the police and registered a case against them.
Magoola was charged with extortion, fraudulent removal or concealment of property and common intention against them.