MILLIONS of dollars are routinely wasted every year by health officials in Zambia — and it’s the taxpayers who are paying for the loss.

The Zambian government has paid back over US$ 1 million to the Global Fund for the drugs and medical supplies which were stolen at Medical Stores warehouse in 2017.

Kathryn Hodson, head of investigations in the Office of the Inspector General at the Global Fund revealed to Makanday that the full amount has been paid.

“In relation to your query dated 19 August 2020, I can confirm that payment of recoveries was received by the Global Fund,” said Hodson in a terse emailed response.

In August, the Global Fund asked for more time before they could respond to Makanday’s query.

“We will assess the information you have kindly provided and we will do our best to update you within a month as to the outcome of our initial review”.

According to the Recoveries Report for the period ended 31 December 2019, “at the beginning of January 2020, the Government of Zambia transferred US$900,000 (K18 million) as part of their commitment to repay the Global Fund under the signed Reimbursement Protocol for a Non-OIG non-compliant expenditure”.

For more information, see Global Fund Recoveries Reports from the 42nd and 43rd Board Meetings on the links below:

In August, Makanday reported that two years after the theft of HIV/Aids drugs and medical products worth over a million US dollars from government’s medical stores, investigations into the crime have not been concluded.

See earlier story on this link:

The drugs, paid for by the Bill Gates-backed Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, were meant for Zambia’s poor, the main victims of HIV/Aids.

In light of this repayment recovery by the Global Fund, several questions arise.

  • Why has the Zambian government remained mute on this highly contentious development?
  • Does this repayment signify an “admission of guilt” by the Zambian health ministry?
  • What is the status of the ongoing investigations by law enforcement agencies regarding the culprits in what can only be described as grand theft of drugs and medical supplies at Medical Stores?
  • Why has this case dragged on inconclusively, after three years of investigations?

Check the link below for more on the story: