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OPINION: Release the health crisis report to SwaziPharm Director Kareem Ashraff, investigation must be fair and credible.

Wednesday, 27th September, 2023

The investigation commissioned by the Office of the Auditor General(AG), Timothy Matsebula into the shortage of drugs in public hospitals was of vital public interest but the delay in releasing the report suggests that, political elements in Cabinet might have hijacked the process to suit their business interests.

One of the basic principles of an investigation is objectivity and this,suggests that,the whole process must be fair and credible.

Through lawyers from Robison Bertram, Kareem Ashraff and SwaziPharm wrote a letter to the Auditor General(AG), Timothy Matsebula, Prime Minister(PM) Cleopas Sipho Dlamini and Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg, demanding the investigation report.

The truth is; as a supplier who is allegedly accused of wrong-doing, he deserves access to the report so that he can make an informed decision whether to challenge it in court or not.

The question is; what is preventing Cabinet or Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg from releasing the report,what is the motive behind the delay?.

In the eyes of a reasonable person, Ashraff might end-up receiving public sympathy if it’s proven that, the investigation was manipulated by Cabinet to suit certain motives and that would be very unfortunate, considering the seriousness of the investigation into health crisis.

It’s a pity that while innocent citizens are dying in public hospitals amid shortage of drugs, the investigation that was intended to establish the truth is manifesting into a ‘dirty game’ of capitalists.

Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg who is linked to the Luke Commission that aspires to take over the supply of drugs in public hospitals must refrain from using political power to influence the investigation, the public deserves the truth here not to target individuals.

SwaziPharm Director Kareem Ashraff is a known alleged corrupt ‘fellow’ but, that doesn’t mean we must watch while Cabinet is undermining the credibility of an investigation into a critical matter involving people’s lives.

Why should Ashraff be forced by circumstances to go to court just to demand the release of a report that allegedly implicates him and his company?.

As a journalist, my duty in this matter is to establish the truth and report fairly so that members of the public can make informed decisions,the capitalist in Cabinet must not think the independent media is here to expose only Ashraff,we want the truth from both sides.

In conclusion, it is therefore important to state that, Cabinet must release the report and if Ashraff is implicated, legal action must be taken.

At the end, we want to see the delivery of drugs in public hospitals and the citizens must enjoy the right to life.

The delay in releasing the report undermines the credibility of the investigation, in fact we must start investigating Finance Minister Neal Rijikernberg’s business interest in the whole process, the Minister is allegedly linked to the Luke Commission.

This matter is urgent not just for Ashraff but to save people’s lives in public hospitals,what is delaying the release of the investigation report?.

OPINION: Release the health crisis report to SwaziPharm Director Kareem Ashraff, investigation must be fair and credible.
SwaziPharm Director Kareem Ashraff.