The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obediah Moyo has read the riot act to the National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm)’s management, amid concerns over leakages and the parastatal’s failure to properly distribute drugs.

Minister Moyo today (Sunday) called the management to explain the whole process from procurement in order to understand how the country is failing to supply adequate drugs when they seem to be available at Natpharm.

“You look competent, you are qualified but your output does not reflect this at all. If you want to continue working, change your attitude. We don’t have to come from the head office to commandeer you. You have contracts and you are paid so perform accordingly. Don’t just think about drinking tea. If you are not up to the task, just say goodbye,” said Dr Moyo.

The Minister gave Natpharm a week to clear stocks by disbursing drugs to hospitals and laboratories where they are supposed to be utilised.

“NATPHARM is not a warehouse for permanent storage of medicines. It is a transitory warehouse. What are you doing about these medicines if you are not distributing them? Think for yourselves, you are adults. Are you using the medicines for yourselves? The population out there requires to be treated. So why are you keeping the medicines? I am giving you one week to clear these stocks,” he said.

“You must realise that the more boxes you store in your warehouse, the more problems we are creating. We want a system where we are able to supply the whole country because there is no medication on the ground. We are spending a lot of money on these medicines, so we want a situation where you make sure the products have arrived where they are supposed to go,” the Minister added.

Dr Moyo said the government is considering engaging the police to investigate reports of leakages at the parastatal, with indications that some medicines are being sold at flea markets with Natpharm seals.

Minister Moyo’s meeting with the Natpharm management follows a fact-finding mission by the First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa last week.

The First Lady took Natpharm to task, also querying why the company was sitting on drugs while hospital pharmacies were empty.