A NATIONAL Taskforce Against Theft of Government Medicines and Medical Supplies has apprehended a Ministry of Health employee, Ackiel Phiri, for suspected drug theft valued at K216,255 in Kasama.
In a statement, Monday, ZAMRA Public Relations Officer Ludovic Mwape said Phiri allegedly made an emergency order of medicines and medical supplies on behalf of Nangoma Mission Hospital from ZAMMSA but that the medical supplies collected were never delivered to the purported health facility.
“National Taskforce Against Theft of Government Medicines and Medical Supplies has apprehended a Ministry of Health employee for suspected drug theft valued at K216, 255.17 in Kasama District, Northern Province. The suspect is Mr Ackiel Phiri, a Pharmacy Technologist, aged 30 years old, working at Nangoma Mission Hospital in Mumbwa District of Central Province. It is alleged that on November 17, 2020, while in the company of other unknown persons, Phiri made an emergency order of medicines and medical supplies on behalf of Nangoma Mission Hospital from Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA). Investigations into this matter were ensued following a tip off and it was discovered that the said medicines and medical supplies collected by the suspect were never delivered to the purported health facility,” read the statement.
“On November 2020, Mr Phiri abandoned his workplace and family at Nangoma Mission Hospital in Mumbwa district of Central Province to go into hiding. He was later found in Kasama district, Northern Province after a tip off by members of the general public and he was apprehended on 8th April, 2022 by the National Taskforce Against Theft of Government medicines after being elusive for a period of one year and five months.”
Mwape said Phiri was in police custody and would appear in court soon.
“Phiri has since been detained in police custody in Lusaka and will appear in court soon. The taskforce is comprised of Officers from Zambia Police Service, Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority, Drug Enforcement Commission and Ministry of Health. The Authority wishes to sternly warn any would-be offenders, that it is equal to the task, and will not hesitate to prosecute anyone found wanting,” stated Mwape.