Opinion

THE HONEYBEE SAGA: HEADS MUST ROLL

The events of Wednesday at the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sitting where officials from the Ministry of Health, Zambia Medicines and Regulatory Authority (ZMRA), Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) and Honey Bee appeared for questioning over the $17 million contract for the supply of health kits have  left many questions in the minds of Zambians than answers.

Through the grilling of these officials by members of the PAC, we came to learn that actually, ZAMRA issued the licence to this sole trader on a Sunday while the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health had no information relating to who approved the health kit supply contract. As if that was not enough, ZABS revealed that actually, the condoms and gloves that this company supplied to the government failed the test and further samples were sent to Zimbabwe and results are being awaited. To make it worse, these condoms were distributed by the Ministry of Health without validation, a serious oversight for which the permanent secretary in charge of administration Ms Kakulubelwa Mulalelo said the ministry regretted the irregularities in the Honey Bee drugs saga. ZAMRA equally admitted its careless handling of the Honey Bee matter after it was revealed that this institution had no validation for distribution of the “defective” condoms.

Zambians need to know who awarded the tender to Honey Bee Pharmacy, who authorized the distribution of medical supplies that didn’t meet the grade (Paracetamol, Condoms, Erythromycin and other medical supplies), how long it takes to certify medical supplies? These questions need to be answered and the earlier it is done, the better.

This is a serious scandal which the government investigative wings must have gotten on a long time ago and culprits arrested and prosecuted to ensure justice is served. Where is the Anti-Corruption Commission for all this to be going on and only to be known when the Auditor General’s office releases the annual reports that bring out such misappropriation of taxpayers’ money? What does ZAMRA stand for to even fail to validate condoms and gloves supplied through a contract at a huge expense to the taxpayer? Why didn’t the Zambia Bureau of Standards stop the distribution of these condoms which failed the test? And finally, why did the Ministry of Health flag off the distribution of medical supplies that were not validated?

From all these questionable issues brought out, there is someone involved and they are known people. By now, these people would have been appearing before the courts of law answering to charges for the roles played in the irregular supply contract given to Honey Bee. PAC could actually have been summoning them while they are already appearing before the courts. That would be the most proactive way of handling issues of such magnitude.

It is careless for the ACC to wait until the President expresses concern on such matters before they can move in to carry out their mandate. Why are they there? They are an autonomous institution for all we know and they have to demonstrate that autonomy by their swiftness to take up matters that require prompt investigations to save the country such embarrassment. This is a serious scandal that should make them jump to their heels and call their team to line to get the matter out of the way.

For now, Zambians expect the ACC to do its job and to do it as expected and that is to conclusively investigate this matter and have every wrongdoer prosecuted before competent courts of law.

25 Comments

  1. WolvesPounce

    Some probing must be done here we can’t go on like this as a country first were is the report of the shooting wala, gassing wala, now this zoona is this wat we have become as a nation.

    Reply
    • Concerned citizen

      Imagine where are we heading as a country, all these just ends in vain that’s why such matters keeps repeating itself

      Reply
  2. Central

    Bamwankole you have killed innocent and poor zambians.ati zamra umungulu

    Reply
  3. Frank Chombela

    No heads will roll because this was authorised at the highest level.

    Reply
  4. ZOB

    ON MORAL GROUNDS.
    ALL THOSE INVOLVED SHOULD JUST RESIGN AND PAVE WAY FOR SERIOUS PEOPLE TO WORK. WE ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE. DONT MESS UP WITH HEALTH ISSUES.
    AM VERY FLABBERGASTED BY THIS REVELATION. WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THINKING AT MINISTRY OF HEALTH KANSHI?

    Reply
  5. Old Mzee

    I look forward to the PAC sitting today.I just hope ZESCO will not switch us off

    Reply
  6. Truth Seeker

    No action will be taken,no prosecution and many lives lost no regrets by government

    Reply
  7. Truth Seeker

    Very right, we’ve got a cold hearted leadership the worst

    Reply
  8. Menyani

    I concur with Frank Chombela – no heads will roll because this was authorised at the highest level.
    Although someone at ZAMRA and the two Permanent Secretaries had a share of the cake they will be made sacrificial lambs. The habitual crook Minister Chilufya who got a bigger chunk of the cake + the icing as the ultimate authoriser will certainly get away scot free.
    Eventually ECL will come in to roast ACC who will develop cold feet by submitting weak prosecution in Court thereby having the case dismissed.
    The same scenario involving Chitotela and the same Chilufya ended in a circus performance in Court.

    Reply
  9. Firefox

    DO WE ACTUALLY HAVE – MINISTRY OF HEALTH.
    NO NOT AT ALL – IT IS MINISTRY OF SCANDALS.

    Reply
  10. Kubeja Badala

    The president has already washed his hands off this case. That is PF government for you, scandal after scandal!

    Reply
  11. Mutonga

    Ministry of high level thieves. How many people have you killed because your greenness. Somewhere else you rot in jail in our ou try you are heroes and rich men from owhere

    Reply
  12. Observer

    PF needs to be shown the door, this is too much, he is fighting UPND thinking everyone is a politician, but when you for instance at this case, it’s the common zambian, who is affected

    Reply
  13. Nancy Lungu

    How can the President proudly say nobody can tell me to fire a minister when they openly abuse office and steal money by paying for goods not delivered. I have been using those condoms on prostitute knowing very well am protacted but today someone says they are defective. Mwandi how do I go for a test mwandi chi chilufya you thief head like a zombie greed heartless. See what you have done to me.

    Reply
    • akwa

      condom or without it u re a fool and i hope u will face the cocinquence of being a chilende .

      Reply
  14. Aisha Simons

    I DON’T REGRET BEING A ZAMBIAN I REGRET THE TIME I SPENT ON A QUE TO VOTE FOR (POOR FINISHING) IF DEAD PEOPLE SEE WHAT THEY LEFT BEHIND. KING COBRA MUST WEEPING FOR OUR SAFETY….

    Reply
    • Truth Seeker

      You should brother,King is the one who is responsible,how? PF was basically a two man party, he and Guy Scott.He didn’t remove the problem of the Constitution and brought in Edgar to act, Edgar had a dark past, but we all thought let’s give him chance.Alas he didn’t change.Scott would have performed better.Our country is ruined,it will take another 20 years to recover.Now a teacher can’t be employed unless you pay K12,000 ,army, air Force,the country is ruined in the way we never dreamt.But Mwanawasa warned us..

      Reply
  15. Isaac

    😭😭😭😭😭cry the beloved country. Where shall go now. Poor farmer in kaputa has no soap no soup no clothing for children and yet….

    Reply
    • Truth Seeker

      I agree,PF will use legal and illegal methods to stay in power.Violence, threats , unconstitutional banning of opponents movements and campaigns,the states are too high, Zambia is destroyed beyond remedy

      Reply
  16. Zambian

    This is a serious matter.
    It should not be discussed hap hazardly.
    Most important is the products which are said to be defective like the condoms and gloves.
    In told that Honey bee replaced all the defective paracetamol that they were informed of.
    They have not been told about the condoms and gloves.
    Manufacturing defects do occur and a recall is the natural way to go.
    Do we know that in Zambia alone last year almost 4,000 medical items were recalled. So it is part of how things operate worldwide. Once found defective, the batch numbers are identified, recalled and replaced.

    Systems are supposed to be in place and function.

    Apart from that we also need to prove why our big and reputable company Pharmanova did not supply in such an emergency situation made much worse under Covid.

    Reply
    • Eddie

      In an event that the said products were used what happens??? Coz it seems the only way to the damage control is to recall the product.

      Reply
    • Truth Seeker

      Do you think they care?No one in the government cares for you…the only thing is so many lives are threatened including their own brothers and sisters,the worst people

      Reply
  17. Bishop

    No heads will roll…….. further this was authorized at the highest level…… Zambian… deserve… Justice…

    Reply
  18. Musyani

    This is total shambles if Zabs cant even enforce there on findings by having to send things to Zimbabwe for retesting,we should be doing all testing in Zambia by now,if not build capacity we do our own testing, DNA, standard of equipment coming in,different products etc.
    I have a solution for this,our government has killed as and we need to punish them at the polls.

    Reply

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