State House-linked businessmen to Acquire Pharmanova

By Staff Reporter

Some State House-connected Zambians who recently supplied second hand 42 fire-tenders at a controversial price of US$1 million each have bought Pharmanova Zambia Limited with the primary aim of profitably controlling the country’s drug manufacturing sector.

Cabinet Office sources told News Day Zambia that Lusaka legal practitioner, Bokani Soko, who is one of the directors at Grandview International, the Thabo Mbeki Road-domiciled company that was involved in the corruption-tainted supply of the 42 fire-tenders, has approached Ministry of Health agencies regulating the production and supply of medicines and expressed interest to get into medicines and drugs manufacturing business through the procurement of ‘limping’ Pharmanova Pharmaceuticals.

“Pharmanova is limping. It has been run down as there has been no re-investment. So, there is a move by these guys, who were involved in the supply of the 42 fire-tenders at that exorbitant price to buy most of the limping pharmaceutical companies so that they can start manufacturing drugs now,” said the source who opted to remain anonymous due to the ‘sensitive nature’ of the matter. “We know that this young man, Bokani Soko; I don’t know if he is still a practising lawyer or not, approached the director at the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) to inform them that he had bought Pharmanova Zambia Limited and that he would be manufacturing drugs.”

The sources said such shady manoeuvres should worry any leadership that was concerned about the health of its people, as allowing individuals without any expertise in the manufacturing of drugs could compromise the quality of the medicines that would be supplied to the people.

“We think there is more to this issue than what meets the eye, because we don’t think Bokani Soko is acting alone,” the source continued.

Whenever they have been challenged about the grand corruption within the current government, Edgar Lungu’s PF-led government have told those casting aspersions to provide evidence of this graft.

Addressing the National Assembly on the implementation of national values and principles about a fortnight ago, President Lungu called those with issues about how the PF was undertaking its fight against corruption to come forward and offer suggestions other than shouting from the rooftops.