PHARMACIST Jerome Kanyika says PF Chishimba Kambwili has been warning him to stay away from any matter to do with Honeybee, threatening that if he dos not, he will be burnt.
And Kanyika says every time he discusses Honeybee in the media, Kambwili calls to threaten him.
In a statement, Sunday, Kanyika said he wasn’t sure how the former minister was connected to Honeybee.
He said Kambwili called to warn him last week when he conducted a live broadcast to discuss Honeybee matters with the public, and even followed him to his office to threaten him after he featured on Radio Phoenix yesterday.
“Every time I have spoken against the Honeybee scandal, Mr. Chishimba Kambwili calls to threaten me. I am not sure how my elder brother is connected to this matter, but he really feels the need to shut me up by threatening. I want to simply state that we don’t talk about Honeybee because it’s Honeybee, we talk about Honeybee because what Honeybee did is not acceptable and will never be. I would speak the same way if it was another company. Those involved in Honeybee and politicians at large, when they are sick, they buy the best brands of drugs, they actually know the value of quality medicines. However, we have majority of our brothers and sisters that only depend on what government stocks in these health facilities, they have no means of accessing Pfizer or gsk or denk products. It’s these people that we speak for, we are duty bound to ensure what government procures is of acceptable standards. We can not reduce this discussion to misguided political correctness! It’s for this reason that even when you Mr. Kambwili and those in your camp threaten me, I cannot give in to your threats and you better understand that,” Kanyika said.
He said there was a possibility that there were a lot of poor quality drugs circulating in Zambia.
“Not so long ago, we learnt about the poor quality medicines that were supplied by a company called Honeybee. Before we got to learn about drugs, we had been told about the dubious means in which ZAMRA issued a pharmaceutical license to this company. We had also learnt about illegal approval of government contract handed to honeybee when in fact it was not a limited company but we were told just correct that error and move on by the Attorney general. The poor quality of drugs supplied by Honeybee doesn’t actually surprise me. There’s a possibility that we actually have a lot of poor quality medicines in both the private and public sector due to our very lack of attention to detail as a country. Honeybee was just but a signal of how weak our systems are. Ask ZAMRA about the standard of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API)and other raw materials coming in this country. You would be surprised to realize that we allow extremely undefined cheap materials to be used in manufacturing drugs in this country. Those sourcing drugs also get the last grade (if there is such a thing) because that’s what would be the cheapest grade,” Kanyika stated.
“Addressing the elephant in the room (Honeybee saga), this saga continues to grow every day. We were told that those drugs were recalled, did Honeybee collect these drugs from facilities and ZAMMSA? We are also aware that Honeybee replaced some of these products such as paracetamol, the replacement failed the quality test and was quarantined at ZAMMSA?? If it failed quality test, wasn’t it supposed to be collected by the supplier? Why was it kept at ZAMMSA premises? If a product fails a quality test, it automatically triggers a recall and the responsible supplier is notified to immediately collect such a product from the market. Now we hear that the said product has been redistributed, is it the same paracetamol that failed quality test or Honeybee brought a second replacement?”
He said he was interested to know the status of the Honeybee contract.
“Another thought is about the status of the honeybee contract. We are told it was canceled? We would like to know the terms of that cancellation, did the cancellation exclude products supplied? Is government supposed to pay for these medicines? I believe government owes its citizens simple explanation to these matters. Having said that, I am asking ZAMRA and ZAMMSA to clarify on this matter. Is this a new replacement? Did ZAMRA redo the test on the same paracetamol and this time it came out okay? What’s going on? You are government institutions, you run on taxpayer’s money who are hardworking Zambians, it’s fair that you explain what the scenario is,” stated Kanyika.