Zimbabwe government through its Health Ministry is reportedly buying face masks for USD $28 each from President Mnangagwa’s son linked company called Drax International LLC .
Zimbabwe government through its Health Ministry is reportedly buying face masks for USD $28 each from President Mnangagwa’s son linked company called Drax International LLC. This comes as the Zimbabwean people are struggling to raise USD 50 cents to buy the cheapest face mask available on the market.
In a letter written by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Golden Guvamatanga to the Ministry of Health and Childcare demanding the release of a consignment of Drax International, the health kits are being charged at very expensive prices to the ministry.
In the letter, Government has purchased 3 740 N95 face masks for USD $28 each, 5 040 Coverall protection Catill type 6b at USD $90 each and 15 000 SARS-Cov-2 Test Kit at USD $34 each totalling USD $987 720.In the local market the N95 face masks cost USD 5.32 each while reusable masks which have become popular cost USD $3 each.
“I write with reference to my letter dated 28 April 2020, advising your Ministry under legal guidance to engage all suppliers for the supply and delivery of medicines and surgical sundries with a view to invoking force majeure provisions, in order to terminate the said contracts o as t mitigate against escalation in the amount of debt to the said suppliers which Treasury is clearly now not going to be able to meet.
“However, Treasury is made to understand that there were times that had already been shipped and currently held at the Robert Mugabe Airport pending clearance. In this regard and given the urgent need for Test Kits, Treasury is hereby exceptionally authorising the release of the consignment to ensure the items availability in the ongoing efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and Treasury will provide funding for the consignment guided by the contract,” Guvamatanga said.
He said Treasury’s position suspending procurement of additional items still stands and the Health Ministry should remain guided by the directive as communicated.
According to local publications Bulawayo24 and Zim Live, Drax International LCC is believed to be registered in Switzerland by Collins Mnangagwa and represented in Zimbabwe by Delish Nguwaya. The company has been supplying drugs to the NatPharm, the government drugs firm, in a separate USD $22.5 million arrangement since September last year. Nguwaya who is well known for a colourful criminal past including multiple arrests for armed robbery, cocaine possession and extortion is a business partner of Collins.