Battle over Natpharm control: Two more board members arrested

TWO National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) board members were on Monday arrested on allegations of criminal abuse of office as the battle between Natpharm management and its board took a new twist.

Board members Charles Maponga and Gerald Gore were on Monday arrested and appeared in court on Tuesday charged with abuse of office.

The matter relates to the manner the board handled the former general manager’s contract.

Former general manager Florah Nancy Sifeku was said to have been irregularly maintained as general manager for two years without a contract.

Her previous contract had expired in December 2018.

Investigations revealed that the Natpharm board tried on several occasions to terminate Sifeku’s services since she was working without a contract but failed because the then minister of Health Obadiah Moyo preferred working with her.

When the board was appointed by Moyo the issue of the GM’s contract was raised but nothing materialised because she was imposed on Natpharm and there was nothing the board could do,” said an insider.

Sifeku’s contract expired in December 2018 but she worked until 2020 without a contract and every time this issue was raised no resolution was given.

The issue would end with the health minister saying Sifeku was the best person to run Natpharm.

The source said as a result the board could not control Sifeku yet she was supposed to be their employee.

The board had no power to override her decisions and one of those was the controversial contract awarded to Drax International.”

Insiders, on Tuesday, again told this publication that the Natpharm management has vowed to fight its board until “they all resign” over irregular conduct.