Secretary for Health Dan Namarika has disclosed that the state is prosecuting 125 suspects, including civil servants for theft of drugs
worth K1.5 billion drugs in public hospitals theft just within one year.
Namarika said 125 suspects, medical practitioners and members of their theft ring have so far been arrested and brought to courts.
“The state has secured 60 convictions, this is a milestone. However, we are pushing for a change in the Pharmacy and Medicines Act so that convicts get stiffer punishment, we are pushing for a custodial sentence,” said Namarika.
He said the revised Act would be going to parliament soon for approval by the law makers.
Namarika said a newly established drug fight unit in the ministry is yielding results, saying drug pilferage has drastically reduced.
Asked to comment on the ministry suspects alleged to have K600 million from Centre for Disease Control (CDC) two years ago, Namarika said some of the 64 suspects have reimbursed the money, others are still on interdiction.
“We are first pursuing disciplinary measures. After this, we will be going to court. We will fast the process so that we recover the donor
money,” said Namarika.
CDC is a US funded project aimed at fighting communicable diseases in the country.
Namarika said some of the suspects were recalled from interdiction and are now working following investigations done by the ministry.