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.
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