The fake ARVs supply saga continues to unfold as renowned pharmacist-cum-politician Ramadhani Madabida on Monday appeared before a Dar es Salaam court charged with five counts, including occasioning loss of over 148m/-.
Madabida, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania Pharmaceutical Industries Limited and Dar es Salaam Regional CCM Chairman, was charged alongside three other top officials with the company.
They are Seif Salum Shamte, Director of Operations; Simon Alfred Msoffe, Marketing Manager and Fatma Ally Shango, an Assistant Accountant.
The rest are two officials with MSD, Sadiki Frank Materu, who is Quality Assurance Manager and Evans Mwemezi, Quality Assurance Officer. They were arraigned before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam where they all denied the charges.
Senior Resident Magistrate Nyigulile Mwaseba granted bail to the accused persons on condition that each deposited in court 12m/- in cash or surrender a title deed of immovable property certified at similar amount. Also, each of them was required to secure two reliable sureties who were to sign a bond of 6m/-.
Only Madabida and Materu managed to meet the conditions. One woman believed to be a close relative of one of the accused persons flew into a rage and attacked a photographer with this newspaper who was busy snapping as the rest of the accused persons were being returned to custody.
The case was adjourned to February 24 for another mention. The prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney Faraja Nchimbi and assisted by State Attorney Shadrack Kimaro, informed the court that investigations into the matter have not been completed.
Reading the charges, the trial attorney told the court that on April 5, 2011 in Dar es Salaam, Madabida, Shamte, Msoffe and Shango, supplied to MSD 7776 Tins of counterfeit Antiretroviral Drugs.
The accused person, according to the prosecution, purported to show that the tins contained ingredients Stavudine 30mg, Nevirapine 200mg, Lamivudine 150mg, with batch number OC 01.85 manufactured in March 2011 and expiring February 2013.
It is alleged that on April 11, 2011, in the city, the four accused persons supplied 4,476 containers of counterfeit Antiretroviral Drugs allegedly containing ingredients Stavudine 30mg, Nevirapine 299mg and Lamivudine 150mg with batch number OC 01.85 manufactured in March 2011 and expiring February 2013.
Between April 12 and 29, 2011 in the city, with intent to defraud or deceit, jointly and together, the four accused persons allegedly obtained from MSD 98,506.8 US dollars (about 148,350,156/-) by falsely pretending that the said money was payments for genuine 12,252 containers of Antiretroviral Drugs supplied.
The prosecution alleged further that between April 5 and 13, 2011, in Dar es Salaam, being employees of MSD, Materu and Mwemezi, knowing that there was a design to commit an offence of supplying the counterfeit drugs, failed to use all reasonable means to prevent such crime from being committed.
Between April 5 and 30, 2011 in Dar es Salaam, by willful acts and reason of their failure to discharge their duties in a reasonable manner, Madabida, Shamte, Msoffe, Shango, Materu and Mwemezi allegedly caused MSD to be supplied with 12,252 containers of fake drugs, leading to a pecuniary loss of the said 148m/-.
By FAUSTINE KAPAMA, Tanzania Daily News