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Looters Torch Us$143k Drugs, Lab Kits

Medicines, laboratory test kits and a refrigerated seven-tonne truck — all valued at about US$143 000 — were destroyed in an arson attack at Makoni Police Station in Chitungwiza during violent opposition-sponsored demonstrations that rocked the country on January 14 this year, the National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) has said.

The destruction is part of a long catalogue of losses the country suffered when MDC-Alliance and its civic society allies instigated a violent upheaval that saw millions of dollars worth of property being destroyed, while brigands targeted Government property and installations, public transport and private citizens’ vehicles.

Six people, including a police officer, died in the well-orchestrated and preplanned violence, which President Mnangagwa has pointed out as an attempt to effect an illegal regime change in the country by upending the constitutional order.

Presenting the state of national drug stocks to members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care during a fact-finding tour to the institution in Harare yesterday, NatPharm head of IT Mr Zealous Nyabadza said medicines

and laboratory sundries, which were meant for Mashonaland East Province were all destroyed in the inferno.

“The value of the stock, which the vehicle was carrying was worth US$63, 248 and the truck itself was valued at US$80 000,” said Mr Nyabadza.

Explaining the circumstances surrounding the burning of the truck, NatPharm managing director Mrs Flora Sifeku said the driver had made deliveries in Mashonaland Central province and was now heading for Mashonaland East province, via Chitungwiza Central Hospital.

She said realising that it was no longer safe for him to proceed, he parked the vehicle at Makoni Police Station.

“In line with our policy and procedure, it is allowed to park at a police station or even a hospital when you realise that there is danger. This is exactly what our driver did,” said Mrs Sifeku.

She said all medicines and sundries which were in the truck, including those that had not been burnt could not be used, and were all eventually condemned.

“Since it was a refrigerated truck, it also meant all its contents were not supposed to be exposed to certain temperatures but because of the heat that was coming from the fire, the medicines were obviously affected and could not be distributed anymore” she said.

Mrs Sifeku said NatPharm has since made a replacement of the orders to the province at its cost.

“For us it is a loss because we had to make a replacement of the same order to the province,” said Mrs Sifeku.

The truck was one of the six cars and three buses that were set on fire by protestors in Chitungwiza.

Public properties worth thousands of dollars, including the only traffic light in Chitungwiza were all destroyed in the protests.

Source : The Herald

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