High Court clears Drax, NatPharm of US$60m corruption allegations
High Court judge Justice Webster Chinamora has ruled that the controversial US$60 million contract entered between Drax Consult SALG (Drax) the National Pharmaceutical Company (Natpharm) for the supply of Covid-19 medicines was valid.
Justice Chinamora has reversed the nullification of the tender Dax had been granted for the supply of the medicines and surgical sundries.
In coming up with the judgement, Justice Chinamora noted that the Procurement Regulations of Zimbabwe Authority Zimbabwe (PRAZ) gave authority to Natpharm to act in accordance with a resolution that had been made in procuring the required medicines and surgical sundries.
The contract was canceled last year after former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested over illegally awarding a multi-million-dollar contract to Drax International, a company branded “shadowy”. Drax International representative Delish Nguwaya was also arrested over the same matter.
The leaked letters had established that Drax International was first awarded a contract worth US$20 million to supply medical equipment and medicines and another US$40 million for the supply of Covid-19 medicine and personal protective equipment by NatPharm.
Moyo was acquitted last month while Nguwaya and some NatPharm officials were also removed from remand.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife Auxillia and son Collins were also fingered as the alleged beneficiaries of the deal.
The corruption surrounding Drax International and NatPharm was exposed largely by award winning investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono before he was arrested some weeks later and charged with inciting public violence and the matter has not been finished yet.
Commenting on the latest development, Chin’ono said: “When I investigated the existence of Drax International in Dubai, no such company existed in Dubai when the contract which the High Court said is valid was signed.
“After that exposure, they registered the company on May 5, 2021 for purposes of getting the money from Zimbabwe.” Nehanda Radio