A former ZAMRA Principal Regulatory Officer, Brian Kabika, has petitioned the High Court to quash the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) decision to arrest and charge him for wilful failure to comply with applicable law and procedure in the awarding of a pharmaceutical licence to Honeybee Pharmacy.
Kabika said that he was maliciously arrested for a crime he did not commit in order to prevent the course of justice in Honeybee Pharmacy case, which had since been discontinued.
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He stated that in an inspection report, glaring critical, major and minor deficiencies amounting to 19 in total were revealed and the inspectors did not recommend issuance of a pharmaceutical licence for wholesale to Honeybee Pharmacy.
This is according to a petition filed in the Lusaka High Court citing ACC as the respondent.
Kabika is seeking an interim injunction stopping ACC from prosecuting him until the determination of the matter.
The petitioner explained that his permanent and pensionable contract was prematurely terminated on July 24, 2020.
He stated that during his course of duty, on August 27, 2019, Honeybee Pharmacy applied to Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) for issuance of a pharmaceutical licence for wholesale.
Kabika said on August 27, 2019, two inspectors, Dr Chanda Mwamba and Dr Cecilia Mwenda, went to inspect Honeybee’s premises, located along Great North Road, Chaisa at plot no.737, Lusaka.
He further stated that the inspectors found that there was nothing to inspect as the applicant was not ready for inspection.
Kabika said he advised the inspectors to go ahead with the inspection and produce an inspection report for decision making.
He said the inspectors noted 19 deficiencies making Honeybee ineligible to be issued with a wholesale licence.
He stated that the Licensing, Surveillance and Enforcement Licensing Internal Committee supported his decision to uphold the inspectors’ recommendations and the instructions to issue a letter of deficiencies to Honeybee.
Kabika however said that a few hours after Honeybee collected its letter of deficiencies to reject the application, he received a phone call from the director of department of medicines control, directing him to facilitate the printing of the Honeybee pharmaceutical licence for wholesale for the Director -General, Bernice Mwale’s signature.
But he told the director of department of medicines control that if Honeybee was still interested in acquiring the licence in question, a reinspection could be conducted anytime, provided it addressed the issue of deficiencies and paid the reinspection fee, but the advice was ignored.
“After a few days or months later, the petitioner discovered that the Director-General has signed the pharmaceutical licence for wholesale for Honeybee Pharmacy number PL/5-00091/19, and it was the first time that the petitioner witnessed the signing of a pharmaceutical licence when an applicant had failed an inspection, and the petitioner shall aver at trial that the Director-General is not answerable to the petitioner but the Board of ZAMRA,” he stated.
Kabika submitted that he explained to ACC officers that Honeybee was not qualified to have been awarded the contract for the supply of health kits as it possessed a pharmaceutical licence for wholesale and not a pharmaceutical licence for manufacture.
Among the substantive reliefs he is seeking is an order for ACC to disclose, whether ZAMRA was paid by Honeybee Pharmacy US$189, 638.06 as five percent of the invoice value of health kits supplied to the Ministry of Health valued at US$3,792,761.28 since the Auditor -General ‘s report for the financial year ended December 31, 2019 was silent.
He wants a declaration that his purported arrest and charge by ACC on January 26,22 for a criminal offence of wilful failure to comply with applicable law and procedure under section 34 (2)(b) of the ACC Act no.3 of 2012 of the Republican law was unlawful, void and of no effect.
Kabika is also demanding compensatory, aggravated, and exemplary damages pursuant to article 13(4) of the Zambian constitution and a declaration that a person holding a pharmaceutical licence for wholesale cannot supply or sell health centre kits.
And for the court to quash the investigative wing’s decision to arrest and charge him on the said criminal offence and a declaration that the purported extension of a bond issued under section 57 of the ACC Act no.3 of 2012 of the laws of Zambia, every month, for over a year is unlawful.
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