Police in Blantyre are keeping in custody a medical assistant and his three accomplices for being found in possession of 29 bottles of life-prolonging AIDs drugs ( ARVs) suspected to have been stolen from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital
Each bottle contained 30 tablets of ARVs which they were selling illegally within the city, according to Blantyre Police Publicist Lameck Thembachako.
The medical assistant, who works for Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital is identified as Dambudzo Huwa, aged 29 of Anderson village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Likoswe in Chiradzulu. His accomplices are Charles Gweta, 26, comes from Tomali village, T/A Lundu in Blantyre, Philip Kambuzi, 23, from Kapazanji village, T/A Choseka in Lilongwe and Patrick M’bale, 35, from Mwandovi village, T/A Wasambo in Karonga district.
Thembachako said they arrested the four suspects following a tip off they received from members of the general public.
“Charles Gweta was found selling ARVs within Blantyre city around 18:00hours. Upon interrogation, he alleged that he got the drugs from Dambudzo Huwa, a medical assistant at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“Phillip Kambuzi and Patrick M’bale alleged that Charles Gweta asked them to find a market for the drugs. They were arrested on Tuesday while Huwa was arrested on Wednesday. They are expected to appear before Blantyre Magistrate Court today (Thursday), February 28, 2013 or tomorrow (Friday), March 01, 2013 to answer charges according to the role each played,” said Thembachako.
The media has been awash with reports that unscrupulous traders have been found on several occasions selling government drugs in the streets or abroad.
Government recently assured members of the general public that it has intensified the drug monitoring system in order to seal all the loopholes which have been giving opportunity to some individuals to steal government drugs.
Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Health, Henry Chimbali said the Ministry has worked out ways of ensuring that all the drugs in the country are not being acquired illegally.