Eight individuals have appeared separately before the Lusaka magistrate court on charges of operating unregistered pharmacies, a violation of section 14 (1) (a) (2) of the Medicines and Allied Substances Act no. 3 of 2013 of the laws of Zambia. This legal action follows an operation conducted by the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), the Zambia Police Service, and other law enforcement agencies to combat the illegal sale of medicines and allied substances in Chawama, Lusaka, on the 16th of August, 2023.
Ms. Miriam Chishimba, aged 30, appeared before Honourable Sylvia Munyinya Okoh on 31st August, 2023, and was fined K9,000, with a default sentence of 4 months imprisonment. Mr. Harrison Daka, aged 66, appeared before Honourable Kaunda Sakwanda on 31st August, 2023, and the matter was adjourned to 18th September, 2023.
Ms. Rutness Nyangu, aged 32, appeared before Honourable Mrs. Kawama Mwanfuli on 1st September, 2023, with the matter adjourned for trial to 25th September. Mr. Greatwell Muntanga, aged 34, appeared before Honourable Mrs. Mutinta Mwenya on 4th September, 2023, and was fined K60,000, with a default sentence of 6 months imprisonment. Ms. Ezel Namwila, aged 27, appeared before Honourable Ms. Emmy Masoja Chilangwa on 4th September, 2023, and was fined K10,000, with a default sentence of 2 months imprisonment.
Others scheduled to face trial include Ms. Annie Mwakakwela, aged 35, who is set to appear before Honourable Mrs. Phaides Hamaundu on 18th September, 2023. Mrs. Olipa Mwange, aged 22, who is jointly charged with Daria Kalolo, aged 35, is also scheduled to appear before Honourable Phaides Hamaundu on 18th September, 2023. On the same list is Mr. John George Banda, aged 40, awaiting an appearance before Honourable Mrs. Constance Kansakala on 15th September, 2023.
The Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) reiterates its appeal to the public to refrain from engaging in the illegal operation of pharmacies, as violators risk prosecution in accordance with the law. Furthermore, members of the public are urged to avoid purchasing medicines from illegal outlets, as they expose themselves to substandard and falsified medical products, which can have harmful effects on their health.