SEVERAL high ranking police officers have been detained for conniving to steal drugs from Medical Stores Limited.
But Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations Bonny Kapeso has refused to comment on the matter, while Police Spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo expressed ignorance over the development.
According to an investigation, the police officers used forged documents and dispatch notes to collect an assortment of drugs from Medical Stores, which they would take for sale in Central Province, among other places. Assistant Commissioner Kennedy Chikwanda who is Hospital Administrator at Sikanze Police Hospital in Lusaka; Chief Inspector Potfer Phiri, a Hospital driver; Inspector Sydney Kalonga who is the driver for Dr Phiri the deputy Commissioner of Police and medical director; civilian Vincent Chibale and Alister Lungu the driver for Commissioner of Police in charge of administration at Force Headquarters, Lombe Kamukoshi, have all been implicated in the drug theft scandal.
Sources at the Zambia Medical Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) tell News Diggers that in the latest drug pilferage transaction which was intercepted around Nangoma Mission Hospital, a police ambulance was caught on Camera offloading stolen drugs, in a scam that has sent two of the suspects on the run.
“There is a serious case of drug pilferage that has been unearthed involving some police officers. The thing is that Police hospitals and clinics also come to collect drugs from Medical Stores. In this case, the one who came to collect drugs from Medical Stores is Inspector Sydney Kalonga who is the driver to Dr Phiri, the deputy Commissioner of Police and medical director at Force Headquarters. He used Dr Phiri’s vehicle to come and collect drugs from Medical Stores without his boss knowing, and the documents he used were apparently forged. After collecting the drugs, he took them to Vincent Chibale’s house who is a civilian pharmacist at Sikanze Police Hospital”
The sources narrated that Assistant Commissioner Chikwanda was then named as the master minder of the pilferage scheme.
“The person said to be at the centre of this is Assistant Commissioner of Police Kennedy Chikwanda who apparently authorised the Ambulance and mobilised fuel to transport the drugs to Nangoma. So what is coming out is that Mr Chikwanda sent another driver, Chief Inspector Potfar Phiri who is the hospital driver to transport the drugs to Nangoma. In Nangoma it was established that Vincent (Chibale the pharmacist at Sikanze) had a relative who was running a pharmacy and he also had a network of buyers who were buying stolen drugs from Medical Stores at a cheap price. So that contact has also gone on the run and his relative Vincent has also gone on the run,” sources narrated.
“So in the latest incident that was intercepted, what happened is that when the drugs arrived on the police ambulance, they started offloading them and loading them into private vehicles now. There were two private vehicles on the scene when the whistleblower started taking pictures. When they saw that they were being filmed, they all scampered; Phiri drove away with the police ambulance and the other guys who were receiving the drugs also ran away. So when the driver was cornered and interrogated, that’s when he revealed that Assistant Commissioner Chikwanda is the one who sent him.”
The sources said Chikwanda and Phiri have so far been detained.
“That’s how police picked Chikwanda and put him in detention together with Phiri, the driver. At Medical stores when collecting the drugs, they used a dispatch note signed by Alister Lungu, who is the drover for Commissioner Kamukoshi, but he denied being involved. So when we reviewed CCTV footage at Medical Stores, we found that Alister was not the one who collected the drugs from Medical Stores, but it was Kalonga, the driver for Dr Phiri,” said the sources.