Drax challenges contract termination

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XOLISANI NCUBE

Drax Consulting SAGL, a company that was controversially awarded the deal to supply medicines and surgical sundries before the deal was terminated by the government last month, has taken government head on saying the termination was done illegally.

In a letter written by their lawyers, Hungwe and Samukenge legal practitioners, Drax stated that the move by the National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) to cancel all contracts for the supply and delivery of medicines and surgical sundries was done illegally and it was approaching the international arbitration court for recourse.

“The purported cancellation appears founded on a directive from the ministry of health which clearly is outside the contractual parameters that govern parties’ relationship. Against the above background, and in line with the general conditions of contract and the contract between the parties our client hereby gives notice of its intention to commerce arbitration under the London Court of International Arbitration rules,”read part of the letter dated July 9.

In a letter dated 5 June 2020, addressed to NatPharm managing director Mrs Flora Sifeku, acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Gibson Mhlanga advised that the cancellation must be done with immediate effect.

Represented by Delish Nguwaya in Zimbabwe, Drax Sagl entered into an agreement with government for the supply and delivery of medicines and consumables worth US$20 million.

The drugs started coming into the country at the beginning of the year in batches.

Sometime this year, Drax Sagl was also awarded a tender to provide Covid-19 medicines and was subsequently given preferential treatment for the release of its Covid-19 emergency medical supplies that were stuck at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

There was a public outcry after it emerged that the company was overpricing its Covid-19 supplies. This led to the arrest of Nguwaya and the then Health minister, Obadiah Moyo who was then dismissed from his job.

 

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