Health Deputy Minister Says Fraud Charges Malicious, Mischievous

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By Staff Reporter

HEALTH Deputy Minister John Mangwiro has described as malicious and mischievous, allegations he interfered with the bidding process for the supply of Covid-19 related materials by Young Health Care to the National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm).

The deputy minister said he only convened a meeting at night in August this year just to establish what was causing delays at a time when Covid-19 infections were surging.

“It is not correct that I interfered with the bidding process. On August 14 2020 at around 2100 hours I received a phone call from the Hon Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care. He wanted me to get an update on what was causing the delays to the procurement of the Covid-19 requirements.

“I could not sleep over an emergency and as such I called (acting Natpharm managing director) Mr Zealous Nyabadza to urgently convene a meeting to appraise me on what was causing the delays. I attended the meeting on August 14 2020 in the company of MoHCC legal advisor Ms S Chikati. The adjudication process had already been completed on August 13 2020. I did not attend the meeting to review any tender processes as this had already been completed.

“I informed the meeting that I wanted to get an update on the availability of the PCR Machine and PCR Test kits arising out of the bids. Mr Z Nyabadza explained that Young Health Care Limited had won the tender to supply some of the equipment,” said Mangwiro.

His statement comes as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is investigating claims by a whistle-blower that he had a personal interest in the awarding of a tender to Young Health Care and tried to arm-twist workers at Natpharm to award the tender without following due process.

A few months ago, Obadiah Moyo was fired by President Emmerson Mnangagwa after he was implicated of corruptly awarding a Covid-19 tender to Drax International.

The matter is before the courts.