Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission has opened an active investigation into the Health Deputy Minister Dr. John Mangwiro after it emerged that he held a meeting with National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm) and influenced them to award a contract worth US$5,6 million to supply COVID-19 sundries to an unregistered firm, The Sunday News reports.
A report contained by ZACC says the Health Deputy Minister went to Natpharm at night and threatened them with dismissal if they failed to award the tender to an undeserving company called Young Health Care.
A report by ZACC which states that ZACC has opened an investigation to determine if the Heath Deputy Minister abused his office reads:
The Deputy Minister (Dr Mangwiro) also demanded that a purchase order be issued that same night. The adjudication team was picked from their homes around 2200 hours and were interrogated by the Deputy Minister until the early hours of the following day. The Deputy Minister threatened the team with dismissal for failing to award Young Health Care the contracts
Young Health Care Limited managed to deliver a paltry six percent of Nucleic Acid and another six percent of Transport Media but went on to request pre-payment for the awarded contract, including undelivered supplies contrary to the terms and conditions of the contract signed with Natpharm, which stipulates that payment should be made seven days after delivery (post-payment).
The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Mangwiro, reportedly insisted on pre-payment and tasked the technical team from laboratory and Natpharm procurement to visit Young Health Care Limited in their country office and verify available stock to compel Natpharm to make a pre-payment to Young Health Care Limited.
Given the extent to which the Deputy Minister was involved in the said tender process, indications are that he was acting in his own capacity and not on behalf of the ministry. The actions of the Deputy Minister signal a personal interest in the tender and this should have prompted him to declare his interest.
Analysts last week urged the government to suspend Dr. Mangwiro for his involvement in the tender.
More: The Sunday News