Lusaka ~ Thur, 7 Jan 2021
By Brightwell Chabusha
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chaired by Muchinga MMD member of parliament Howard Kunda yesterday grilled officials from Honey Bee Pharmacy, Zambia Medicines and Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) and the Ministry of Health over the $17 million contract awarded to the pharmacy for the supply of health kits.
During the appearance before PAC, it was revealed that some of the condoms and gloves which Honey Bee supplied failed the test, according to ZABS, to which committee member Mwansa Mbulakulima said that was tantamount to genocide.
Shockingly, the condoms and gloves in question were, however, distributed countrywide by the Ministry of Health without validation.
It was further heard that ZAMRA had no validation for distribution of the defective condoms countrywide and that results of further tests done on them were being awaited from Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, proof of supply of the health kits by Honey Bee lacked addresses, another anomaly which left the PAC shocked.
Other shocking revelations during the hearing were that Honey Bee was issued with a license on Sunday by ZAMRA, while Ministry of Health permanent secretary in charge of administration Kakulubelwa Mulalelo said she had no idea who authorized the contract as she only attended the launch of the health kits distribution.
After all the anomalies were brought out, Ms Mulalelo said the Ministry regrets the irregularities on the Honey Bee drugs contract while ZAMRA admitted its lapses on the contract which has left Zambians questioning what processes were taken before awarding it.
Honey Bee director Zakir Motala could not stand the questioning as he nearly broke down and accused the Auditor General’s Office of being biased in its reports.