Health ministry denies aiding Zanu PF campaign in Lupane East by-election

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has backracked on its decision to supply medicines to clinics in Lupane to bolster Zanu PF campaign for the Lupane East by-election.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Agnes Mahomva, said medical teams established that there was normal and usual drug supply chain management for all Lupane clinics.

This after a letter written by Health Minister to Zanu PF National Commissar Victor Matematanda dated July 5, 2019, confirming that the National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) had been instructed to distribute medicines to the clinics in Lupane to boost the ruling party’s election campaign.

The letter immediately drew widespread criticism of Zanu PF’s abuse of state resources.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Nelson Chamisa responded by writing a letter of complaint to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the abuse of state resources by the ruling party.

MDC Secretary General Charlton Hwende said there was clear evidence of abuse of state resources to further Zanu PF’s political party’s interests and criminal abuse of office by Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo who directed NatPharm to deliver the drugs to Lupane.

“There being clear evidence we hope ZEC will take appropriate measures as redress. The fact of complaint are that the Minister of Health and Child Care criminally abused his office to order the management of NatPharm to deliver drugs to several health facilities in Lupane to further Zanu PF campaign,” Hwende noted.

Hwende described the ‘execution’ by the minister as a clear act of collusion and coordination between Zanu PF and the Minister’s office.

“At the minimum it is collusion at the level of the minister and at worse it involves the highest offices in the State. We hope that you take this matter with the seriousness it deserves considering the level of confidence in Zimbabwean election by the citizens, your handling of this matter will determine whether that confidence is restored or not,” he said evoking experiences of the July 2018 elections where ZEC was accused of being pro-Zanu PF.

“The issue of abuse of State resources in favour of Zanu PF is one of the issues raised even by international observer missions in the 2018 election. We thank you in anticipation or your kind reply and look forward to the same.”

In a press statement, Health ministry permanent secretary, Dr Mahomva, refuted the claims saying the medicine supply chain management system was in place.

“In addition, the teams established that a NatPharm team was already on the ground doing its normal and routine quarterly medicines supply runs to the clinics in the district through the health ministry’s recommended Zimbabwe Assisted Pull System. No additional or extraordinary action was therefore needed or taken,” she claimed.

“Let me therefore once again reassure you, the public, our donors and technical partners that the Ministry of Health teams are there to simply do their work in a professional and efficient way guided by good governance principles and nothing else. This is done for the good of all Zimbabweans regardless of gender, creed or affiliation.”

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