Deputy health minister in tender storm

HEALTH and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro allegedly railroaded the National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm), in dramatic events, including visiting the parastatal’s workers at night and threatening them with dismissal, to award a US$5,6 million contract to an “undeserving company” — Young Health Care.

This is contained in a Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (zacc) report which says the Deputy Minister had “personal interest” in the matter.

The investigation, conducted from August 31 to September 4 this year, looked into circumstances of how the Ministry of Health and Child Care handled a Covid-19 tender (NAT ITCB FWWK 04/2020) for the purchase of laboratory equipment, reagents and consumables.

The Sunday Mail recently reported that senior Government officials were allegedly caught with hands in the till over the Covid-19 materials procurement.

The alleged scandal was unearthed following a whistleblower’s tip-off in August.

Reached for comment, Dr Mangwiro said: “Sorry, I cant talk right now”, in a terse SMS response to The Sunday Mail, after his phone went unanswered.

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