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Joint Operation “Umoyo” Cracks Down on Illegal Medicine Trade in Lusaka

In a collaborative effort aimed at combating illicit drug sales and safeguarding public health, law enforcement agencies in Lusaka conducted a successful operation named “Umoyo” on April 4th, 2024. 

Spearheaded by personnel from the Zambia Police, Drug Enforcement Commission, Ministry of Health, Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority, and Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency, the operation targeted illegal drug stores, unauthorized sales of government medicines, and trading without proper licenses within the metropolitan hub.

During the operation, a dedicated team conducted thorough searches, resulting in the seizure of illegal drugs and related items. Notably, 16 suspects were apprehended across various police stations in Lusaka. Among them, seven individuals were arrested for operating unregistered pharmacies, while nine suspects were detained for conveying stolen property.

The arrested individuals include Thomas Zulu, Mwiche Novis Mulenga, Calister Tembo, Emmy Mumba, Melody Chama, Paul Chama, and Patrick Mukuka. Additionally, Smart Simukondo, Lameck Nyerenda, Elias Lunyungi, Chama Enock, Kauseni David, Nosia Muhango, Mwengwe Mwila, Innocent Muwaya, and Donald Nga’ndwe were among those apprehended.

The seized items included antibiotics, HIV test kits, and injectable diabetic medicines, bearing batch numbers matching government-procured medicines. Such illicit activities not only deprive citizens of accessing medications from government health facilities but also pose significant risks to public health by distributing expired, counterfeit, or substandard medications.

In response, law enforcement officials emphasized their commitment to upholding regulations, safeguarding public health, and ensuring fair access to safe treatments for all members of the community. 

Through continued vigilance and collaborative efforts, they aim to maintain the integrity of healthcare systems and promote the safety and welfare of all individuals in Lusaka.

Graphel Musamba, the Inspector General of Police, highlighted the importance of addressing illegal medicine sales to protect citizens’ well-being and maintain the integrity of healthcare systems.

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