The National Patriotic Front called Mnangagwa’s visit to the company “unacceptable”.
“I told them to provide me with the current distribution list of the drugs they shipped and the type of drugs before I left so I could follow up.
“I went to a hospital in Mashonaland Central and they only had a few boxes of HIV medicine. The situation there is desperate and has reached a stage where we have to wonder if people are stealing drugs or just being careless,” Mnangagwa said.
Zimbabweans took to social media to note that no matter how lofty her case, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife had no legal authority to review NatPharm or any other government agency.
They compared her actions to those of former first lady Grace Mugabe, who was ousted in 2017 along with her husband, longtime leader Robert Mugabe, after the military accused her of interfering in government affairs. .
“The First Lady is not a libero minister who pokes her nose into the official management of departments, parastatals and other government institutions,” said Jealousy Mawarire, spokesman for the opposition NPF party.
He described his Angel of Hope as a “noble charitable idea”, but said it should not “give him permission to go beyond the stage of wanting to lead government ministries”.
He added: “What legal instrument authorizes them to investigate NatPharm’s dispensing of medicines? Will she take on the roles of health minister, deputy minister and permanent secretary? Has she become medical director at the ministry?
“Their behavior is completely unacceptable, uncivilized, unprofessional and intrusive. She is not a government official, but she goes to semi-government agencies and asks for official documents. This is totally unacceptable. The officials do not not report to a first lady.”
After her husband took over the presidency following the military coup, Mnangagwa spent most of her time campaigning for better hospitals.
She has made unannounced visits to several hospitals, angering doctors who say her visits have brought no improvement to these facilities, especially on issues such as the availability of drugs and medical equipment.
On Friday, she flew in a military helicopter to Chimanimani, devastated by Cyclone Idai, to meet survivors of the March disaster that killed more than 280 people. She was received by the two government ministers, July Moyo (Local Government) and Perrance Shiri (Land and Agriculture).