Covid-19 drug surfaces on black market

ZACC To Investigate Pharmacies, For Illegaly Selling Ivermectin
John Makamure

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has launched an investigation on some pharmacies and medical institutions amid allegations that they are selling Covid-19 drugs at exorbitant prices on the black market.

It has been established that pharmacies and other health facilities are selling Covid-19 drugs in foreign currency despite buying the drugs using funds sourced from the RBZ currency auction.

Zacc spokesperson, Commissioner John Makamure (pictured) confirmed the development saying Zacc has since received several reports about the issue and that investigations are in progress.

Medical supplies are one of those items that have been given priority in the allocation of foreign currency by the RBZ so the importers can bid at the auctions.

We have received complaints that some unscrupulous pharmacies were accessing the hard currency to procure Covid-19 drugs. The drugs would be on shelves briefly. They would then de-shelve them and divert them onto the black market.

The reports we are receiving are that other pharmacies, upon receiving RBZ auction proceeds they will insist on selling the drugs in foreign currency. The pharmacies are obviously taking advantage of spiralling of Covid-19 cases where more people are desperate, he said.

He said some of the drugs that are being sold on the black market include a veterinary drug called Ivermectin that was recently authorised by the government for clinical trials.

In a separate incident, Zacc is investigating Mpilo Central Hospital officials after 40 boxes of donated Covid-19 test kits worth US$12,500 were recovered from a building in Harare last week.

Investigations are now in progress with a view to arrest officials from Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo. We will leave no stone unturned in this case and many other corruption-related cases. We continue to warn those involved in corrupt practices that the long arm of the law will inevitably catch up with them, said Comm Makamure.

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