HRDC Wants Speedy Balaka Drug Theft Trial

The suspect was granted bail by the court The suspect was granted bail by the court

The Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) in the eastern region has joined Balaka community and the civil society in demanding speedy trial of alleged drug theft at the district hospital.

HRDC Deputy Coordinator for Eastern Region, Harlod Kachepatsonga, says they are concerned with what they call prolonged period before prosecution.

"We are not pleased with the speed police are handling the case in which a District Hospital Pharmacy In-charge was allegedly found in possession of medical drugs by the hospital security guards at the car park without authorization on March 20th, 2021," says Kachepatsonga.

He says HRDC is following the case with keen interest until justice prevails considering that poor people are sent back from public hospitals on grounds of shortage of essential drugs.

Balaka Police Spokesperson, Felix Misomali however says people should not panic as the suspect was already taken to court which granted him bail.

"The suspect in question already appeared before court on theft of medicines or allied substance contrary to Section 82 of the Pharmacy and Medicines Regulatory Authority Act No. 9 of 2019 where he was granted bail.

"Meanwhile, investigations are at an advanced stage on the second count of theft by public servant contrary to Section 283 of the Penal Code," says Misomali.

The suspect was allegedly found in possession of assorted medical drugs without authorizing documents as he was exiting the main gate of the hospital.

Community leaders and the civil society earlier summoned the police and district council officials to express their concern on the same.

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