By Alois Vinga
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned that government will soon move to withdraw licences from pharmacies that continue to sell products to customers in United States dollars, despite being allocated foreign currency by the central bank.
Addressing Zanu PF supporters who were gathered at Murombedzi in Mashonaland West Province to celebrate the party’s 2018 elections victory, Mnangagwa expressed disappointment over the pharmacies’ conduct.
Some pharmacies are around the country are rejecting payment in bond notes and the RTGS electronic currency, saying they are forced to buy foreign currency off the streets to import drugs.
However, President Mnangagwa told supporters Saturday that pharmacies get foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
“They (pharmacy operators) come to the central bank crying out to get forex for drug imports which they are allocated,” said the Zanu PF leader.
“But in turn they are demanding hard currency from the public wishing to buy drugs. This is uncalled for and the worst part is that they are not even paying their own employees in foreign currency.
“So, cabinet had advised the health minister to engage them on the matter and encourage them to desist from this conduct.
“If they do not take heed of the message, we will be left with no choice except to withdraw (operating) licences from them until they are ready to accept bond notes.”
Last month the Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) complained that the central bank was not doing enough to assist them with forex.