More people arrested over expired drugs


Police in Harare have netted at least 50 people including six doctors involved in the distribution of expired medical drugs, with the latest being a director with a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Deseret International, Reginald Neild. The 50 peolpe are expected to appear in court soon facing the same charges.
Deseret International provides clothing, food and educational needs to people living with HIV and Aids. Neild was arrested last Thursday on suspicion of sourcing sub-standard drugs and supplying them to Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) lawmaker for Marondera Ian Kay and Hendrick O’Neil, another director with an NGO, Zimbabwe Development Trust. Kay and O’Neil are already on $500 and $1 000 bail respectively on similar charges.
It is the state’s case that sometime last month Neild supplied a consignment of expired medical drugs to O’Neil who in turn supplied Kay for donations to clinics in Mashonaland East.
Kay allegedly donated the drugs to Dombotombo and Nyameni clinics in Marondera and Chikondoma Rural Health Center in Mutoko to assist disadvantaged Zimbabweans in those communities. But the police, acting on a tip-off, arrested the trio and hauled them before the courts for violating Section 48(1) of Medicines and Allied Substance Control (general) Regulations and Section 51 of the same regulations. Neild was yesterday remanded out of custody at his hospital bed at a local clinic on $500 bail where he was being treated for bronchitis with chronic asthma.
He was ordered to deposit his passport with the clerk of court, report once a fortnight to Criminal Investigations Department drugs section and not to interfere with state witnesses.
In 2009, the police launched a blitz code-named Operation Zambezi, resulting in expired and sub-standard drugs being confiscated from the streets countrywide.