NatPharm in golden hand­shake scam

FOR­MER man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Com­pany (NatPharm), Mrs Flora Sifeku, is set to walk away from the na­tional drug pro­curer $200 000 richer af­ter the board re­solved to give her a golden hand­shake.

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - BUSINESS - Brian Chitemba In­ves­ti­ga­tions Editor

SHE is also ex­pected to get a top of the range ve­hi­cle worth $200 000 at a time the com­pany is strug­gling to dis­charge its obli­ga­tions sat­is­fac­to­rily. Doc­u­ments in our pos­ses­sion show that NatPharm’s board chair Dr George Washaya com­mu­ni­cated the hand­some pay-outs to Mrs Sifeku in July this year.

How­ever, eye­brows have been raised about the board’s plan to give Mrs Sifeku a $123 055,20 as a “to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion” os­ten­si­bly for six ma­jor “achieve­ments” dur­ing her 12-year reign at the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal firm.

A Toyota Land-cruiser she has been us­ing will also be ceded to her.

In a let­ter on July 27, 2018, Dr Washaya said, “The board would like to thank you for the com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion that you dis­played over the years. You made NatPharm a great

com­pany and you achieved the fol­low­ing among many which the board would like to ap­pre­ci­ate:

◆ The two fi­nan­cial awards that NatPharm re­ceived dur­ing your ten­ure.

◆ NatPharm was weaned off the SPB re­quire­ments for large ten­ders.

◆ Debt pay­ment of USD $26M by Min­istry of Health and Child Care.

◆ Sus­tain­abil­ity of NatPharm.

◆ Strate­gic al­liances with NOVO and GSK.

◆ NatPharm re­ceived six re­frig­er­a­tor trucks. The NatPharm board then re­solved to pay $104 000 for the pe­riod she served as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, in­clud­ing waiv­ing a 15 per­cent ve­hi­cle dis­posal fee ($16 139,55) and giv­ing her a lap­top worth $1 195 and a Sam­sung S9 phone val­ued at $1 720.

This brings the to­tal value to $123 055,20.

In ad­di­tion, NatPharm plans to pay $71 242,67 as part of Mrs Sifeku’s le­gal obli­ga­tions up to pen­sion­able age.

“In view of the above, the board of direc­tors of NatPharm, with the con­cur­rence of the Min­istry of Health and Child Care, has agreed that NatPharm pays your le­gal en­ti­tle­ments up to the pen­sion­able age.

The com­pany will pay you to­gether with your salary and ben­e­fits ($71 242,67) up to 30 Novem­ber 2018.

“The com­pany will also cede the cur­rent ve­hi­cle al­lo­cated to you at no cost. You will con­tinue to be on the com­pany’s med­i­cal aid scheme un­til Novem­ber 30 2018.

“We take this op­por­tu­nity to thank you for your long and fruit­ful ser­vice to the com­pany.

“Your con­tri­bu­tion to both the com­pany and the med­i­cal fra­ter­nity will never be for­got­ten,” added Dr Washaya in the July let­ter.

Con­tacted for com­ment, NatPharm’s board chair claimed the mat­ter hasn’t been fi­nalised yet.

“It’s pre­ma­ture to pub­lish the story be­cause the board is still dis­cussing is­sues about her con­tract which will be ter­mi­nated in Novem­ber.

“The board is look­ing at ways to thank her (Mrs Sifeku) for her ser­vice.”

Na­tional Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals premises

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