MEDIA REPORTS ALLEGING THAT GOVERNMENT CONTRACT WORTH USD17 MILLION TO A COMPANY THAT DID NOT EXIST

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TENDER FOR THE SUPPLY AND DELIVERY OF HEALTH CENTRE KITS – MOH/SP/032/19 AND MEDIA REPORTS ALLEGING THAT GOVERNMENT THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AWARDED A CONTRACT WORTH USD17 MILLION TO A COMPANY THAT DID NOT EXIST

LUSAKA, (16th June 2020)…The Ministry of Health notes with deep concern news alleging that Government through the Ministry of Health, last year awarded a USD17 million contract for the supply of health center kits to a company called Honey Bee Pharmacy Limited, which did not exist.

We wish to put the record straight as follows:

In order to avert a stock out that would follow the cessation of supply by a longstanding supplier, the Ministry of Health, opted to engage other players in the pharmaceutical market for the supply and delivery of Health Centre Kits as a stop gap measure.

Ten entities participated in the tender which was subject to the requisite stringent legal and administrative processes in line with the Public Procurement Act.

Following the requisite administrative process, Honey Bee Pharmacy was duly awarded the contract together with two other entities. However, when it came to conveyancing of the contract for Honey Bee Pharmacy in particular, the term “Limited” was erroneously added.

As per legal guidance, the appropriate entity awarded the contract remains Honey Bee Pharmacy as all the statutory documents in support of the bid such as certificates of registration, ZRA certificates and ZAMRA registration correctly bore the appellation “Honey Bee Pharmacy” (Without “Limited”).

The contract to Honey Bee Pharmacy and two other entities was given the necessary administrative and legal approvals prior to award.

It is critical to note that there has been NO financial or material loss on the part of Government, as the terms of the contract are that Honey Bee Pharmacy and the 2 other entities that have been awarded, use their own funds to source the Health kits before they are paid. As all the awarded entities are yet to deliver, none have therefore been paid to date.

Although the slip whereby the word “limited” was erroneously added, is a common phenomenon that from time to time universally occurs in the transcription of documents, the Ministry of Health holding itself to a high standard, deeply regrets the clerical error and will ensure such a slip does not recur.

The tender was awarded to Honey Bee Pharmacy – an entity that existed at the time the tender process took place.

However, the public can take comfort and rest in that the Ministry of Health remains committed to applying utmost fiduciary integrity in its stewardship of public resources, to galvanise our nation’s attainment of Universal Health Coverage.

Dr. Abel Kabalo

Spokesperson

Ministry of Health.

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