By ADRIAN MWANZA
COOPERATIVES will for the first time be allowed to supply drugs to the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZMMSA), Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Administration George Magwende has said.
Dr Magwende said that government would not hesitate to engage cooperatives that met the criteria and followed the right procedure in the tendering process.
He said that the process would be transparent and no Zambian would be discriminated based on their political affiliation.
Dr Magwende said that any entity that wanted to supply to ZMMSA, they had to follow the procedure.
“What I can tell you is that this will not be based on political lines but the fact that we are Zambians, everybody will be entitled to take part in the tendering process,” he said.
Meanwhile Democratic Party president, Harry Kalaba, said it was illegal for the board members of the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZMMSA) to go soliciting for drugs in Egypt amid the shortage in the country without issuing competitive tenders.
Mr Kalaba also said it was shocking and illegal for people closely linked to the powers that be to form cooperatives that would be supplying medicines to ZMMSA.
He said it was not the mandate of the ZMMSA board to go to solicit for drugs but ensure that they gave policy directives to management.
Mr Kalaba said that he had never heard of such a thing and that they would not allow such activities to go on because it was not right.
He said that it was illegal for only people who were connected to the ruling party to be given such contracts at the expense of qualified and capable individuals.
Mr Kalaba said that he was once in the civil service and understood the procedure and what was going on was wrong and needed to be stopped once and for all.
“Firstly, how could the board undertake such a trip abroad when they have not followed the tender procedure,” he said.
He said as far as he was concerned there was something fishy about the whole scenario and urged the relevant authorities to look into the matter.
Mr Kalaba said the UPND were experimenting and that the end result would be disastrous if they continued on the same trajectory.
“There is no need for these shenanigans because if this is left unchecked the end results will not be very good,” he said.
He said that it was unheard of for people closely linked to the ruling party to have an advantage over people that had the capabilities.