Three top National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) officials, Florah Nancy Sifeku (67), Charles Mwaramba (78) and Rolland Mlalazi (55) on Wednesday appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts charged with criminal abuse of office.
The trio allegedly approved DRAX International LLC to supply and deliver medicines and surgical sundries to the Government without following procurement procedures.
Sifeku is the NatPharm managing director, Mlalazi is employed as the finance manager, while Mwaramba is the pharmaceutical company’s operations manager.
On one of the offences Sifeku and Mwaramba are jointly charged, the State alleges that sometime in December 2019, the duo disregarded the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s directive to NatPharm to perform a tender for the procurement of medicine and surgical sundries.
The two allegedly awarded a direct purchase of medicine and surgical sundries under a US$20 million facility to Drax Consult SAGL, saying there was an extreme emergency.
On another matter in which Sifeku and Mlalazi are jointly charged, the State alleges that sometime early this year, the two offered Drax International LLC another tender to supply US$13 351 071 worth of medicines.
The company, fronted by Delish Nguwaya and ILir Dedja, had changed its name to Drax Consult SAGL after it failed the vetting.
Sifeku, Mwaramba and Mlalazi were all not asked to plead to the charges when they separately appeared before magistrate Vongai Guriro, who remanded them to July 3 on $10 000 bail each.