THREE people, among them two police officers, have denied stealing government medicines and other supplies worth over K200,000 before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.

In this matter, Kenneth Chikwanda, a 59-year-old administration officer working in the Zambia Police Service; Vincent Chibale, 41, a Pharmacy Technologist and Photipher Phiri, 47, a police officer and driver are charged with five counts of forgery, uttering a false document and conveying suspected stolen goods.

In court one, it is alleged that Chikwanda and Phiri between January 1, 2019 and November 30, 2020, with intent to deceive or defraud, forged a delivery note dated November 17, 2020 by purporting to show that it was genuinely issued by Medical Stores Limited (MSL) when in fact not.

In count two, it is alleged that on November 18, 2020, Phiri, knowingly and fraudulently uttered a delivery note to Ackim Sakala, a Pharmacy Technologist at Nangoma Mission Hospital.

In count three, it is alleged that between January 1 , 2019 and November 20, Chikwanda, Chibale and Phiri being employed in the public service namely Zambia Police Service as administration officer, pharmacy technologist and driver respectively, stole 500 Amiloride Hel 5mg/Hydrochlorothiazide 50mg tab, 1000 gloves latex examination, 1000 Nifedipine Retard 20mg tablets, 350 metronidazole 200mg tablet, 10 insulin short actingsol vial 100lu inj(10), 40 ceftriaxone sodium, PWD, 30 Ketamine hydrochloride 10ml, all valued at K216,255.17, the property of Government.

In the fourth count, it is alleged that between January 1, 2019 and November 30, 2020, Phiri had in his possession 2×5 litres of disinfectants reasonably suspected of having been stolen or unlawfully obtained.

In the last count, it is alleged that between the same dates, Chikwanda had assorted drugs reasonably suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.

When the matter came up for plea yesterday, magistrate Nthandose Chabala read out the charges to the accused persons, to which they said they understood.

They however, pleaded not guilty in all the counts.

The matter comes up on February 26, 2021 for mention and March 15, 2021 for trial.