Police in Likoma are keeping in custody a Mozambican and Malawian nationals for alleged drug theft.

The two are Banzo Paliyani, 34 from Chigoma Village, Traditional Authority Mataka, Cobue in Mozambique and a pharmacy attendant at St Peter’s Mission Hospital, Jacob Chisowa, 42 from Chamba Village, Traditional Authority Mkumpha in Likoma.

According to Likoma Police Public Relations Officer Sergeant, Mcliff Ngulube on the morning of April 8, 2017, the police had received a tip from a well-wisher who saw Chisowa giving drugs to Paliyani at a suspicious place in Mbamba Market.

Basing on the tip, a party patrol team led by Sergeant Mark Kaphwiti managed to trace and seize a laptop bag from Paliyani where the following drugs were found: 15 packets of adult LA, 85 tablets of Panadol, 30 capsule of Chlorophenical and a 5ml bottle of Getacin.

The total value of the drugs is K65,000.00 but were sold for K4,000.00 to the Mozambican in this transaction.

Chasowa was arrested at his house and is charged with theft by a public servant while his counterpart is charged with being found in possession of medical drugs.

According to Nguluwe, investigations are still in progress.

Rumours of this cross border drug theft at the facility have been rampant in the recent past but no arrest was made.

In an interview with Mana, District Health Officer, David Sibale said it is unfortunate that while government is trying all it can to ensure drug availability in public hospitals other people seem not concerned at all.

“It is unfortunate because calls to health workers to desist from stealing drugs seem not to be heeded,” he said.

Sibale said as an office they are going to reinforce the 3 lock system and continue to audit drugs with the drug audit committee.

Government recommends a 3 lock system whereby a drugstore has at least 3 doors.

Each door is locked and the keys of each door are kept by 3 different staff. This renders it difficult for one to steal the drugs unless he connives with the other two.

An insider at the hospital alleged that the mission administration just like in many mission hospitals, shield the culprits because of family or blood relationships

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