SPEAKER of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti has directed Health Minister Silvia Masebo to render a ministerial statement on Tuesday next week on the recent distribution of Honeybee drugs.

Speaker Mutti was ruling on a matter of urgent public matter raised by Mufulira Central PF Member of Parliament Golden Mwila.

Mwila said government should state if the said drugs have now been ascertained to be fit for human consumption.

“Madam Speaker, the matter I wish to raise is directed at the Minister of Health. Madam Speaker, a few days ago, the nation came to know about the drugs that were distributed by the Zambia Medicines and Medicines Supplies Agency to the Zambian public. These drugs, Madam Speaker, and we know in the last one and a half years, the story that has been surrounding the drugs supplied by Honeybee to the extent that they are expired and they are not fit for human consumption. Madam Speaker, if it were not for the whistle blower to alert the nation that the consignment of these drugs have actually been released by ZAMMSA to the unsuspecting public, we were not going to know. And the Zambian citizens we were going to be administered with drugs that have been labeled to be expired and not fit for human consumption,” Mwila said.

“Madam Speaker, I am aware that the said agency, ZAMMSA, issued a statement early this week apologising to the nation. In their words, they said they were sorry to have released those drugs. Madam Speaker, in that statement, they mentioned two institutions; Kabwe General Hospital and Kasama General Hospital to be the ones that received these drugs. But stakeholders who have raised concerns at such an occurrence have actually mentioned that these drugs have also been reported to be in North-Western Province, specifically Mwinilunga. Madam Speaker, the nation is at shock that drugs that have been labeled not to be fit for human consumption have secretly been released to the unsuspecting public.”

He asked how the Honeybee drugs found themselves in circulation if they were in quarantine.

“Madam Speaker, I wish to know what is the government’s position now that they have ascertained that these drugs, contrary to what was previously reported in the country, are actually fit for human consumption hence their distribution. If not, the drugs that are supposed to be quarantined. How did they find themselves released and distributed to the Zambian people? Madam Speaker I seek your guidance,” said Mwila.

And in her ruling, Speaker Mutti directed Masebo to issue a ministerial statement on the matter next week Tuesday.

“Thank you very much for that matter that you have raised. Indeed, the matter qualifies to be treated as such and therefore direct the Minister of Health to come back to the House on Tuesday next week with a statement just to explain to the House, and through this House, the people of Zambia at large on the circumstances surrounding the release of the said medicine,” said Speaker Mutti.