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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Uganda pharmaceutical company halts exports to Zambia over unpaid debts

Economy Uganda pharmaceutical company halts exports to Zambia over unpaid debts

Cipla Uganda, the biggest manufacturer of drugs in that country, has suspended exports to Zambia, over unpaid invoices on products worth almost $12m, over two years.

Cipla’s Uganda may be warning investors of problems in Zambia, but yesterday it also gave them good news about a winning a contract with South Africa and the World Health Organisation, to supply Antiretroviral and anti-malarial drugs.

The company’s problems in Zambia threaten to get worse, but they may be offset by business developments elsewhere.

Talks are advanced with 16 countries, which would expand Cipla’s exports to 22 markets.

Uganda’s pharmaceutical industry is at risk from the growing debt crisis in Zambia.

According to officials, CiplaQCIL continues to engage extensively and constructively with the Government of Zambia regarding payment of the over dues this financial year and has already received $1.2 million in the first quarter. This engagement involves forfeiting the over dues through an international bank to secure guaranteed payment.

“The company is relentlessly focussed on driving shareholder value through increased revenues and profitability. Even though it was business unusual during the COVID-19 pandemic, CiplaQCIL was fortunate to operate without interruption and even managed to improve attendance and productivity levels during this period. The new financial year 2020/2021 has presented opportunities in increasing the customer base with orders from Botswana for 2.3 million doses of ARVs for adults living with HIV,” CEO of CiplaQCIL, Nevin Bradford, said.

“The 2019/2020 financial year was a challenging year especially given the Zambia issues and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. We can be proud though despite numerous challenges, CiplaQCIL continues to deliver on its ethos of “Caring for Life” by producing quality, affordable medicines to ensure that people have access to life-saving medication,” he said.

This was at the at second annual general meeting (AGM) held last Thursday 20 August 2020.

The company said in a statement on Monday that the losses were due to the fact that it has failed to collect debts from the Government of Zambia, increased competition from other companies that produce similar products and reduction in drug prices.

To calm the fears, the company said in a statement that “Management endeavoured to minimize the impact on the reduction in revenue from Zambia through increased funder related sales.” It said sales to Global Fund business has rebounded significantly in the first half of this reporting year.

Cipla, which was established in 2005, manufactures Anti-retroviral (ARV), artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) and Hepatitis medicines to treat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Hepatitis.


  1. Every day that passes, every single day, reveal new revelations of pf incompetence, corruption, bad governance, theft or some other evil. Literally every day.
    What will zambia have become by 2026 if pf are allowed to stay in power? Worse than Zimbabwe. A wrecked economy, a worthless currency, a collapsed health system, and a leadership of corrupt, greedy mafia thugs who will do and sacrifice anything and everything to stay in power perpetually.
    And they will always have cheerleaders who defend every action, no matter how reprehensible, because their livelihoods depend on their masters staying in power. We are already seeing that on this blog.

  2. When Bwalya Ng’andu announced a K10BN stimulus package what we proposed was that the funds be allocated to the service of the local debt. For 2018 most grant aided health institution were funded in May and September. As for 2019 only the Child Health Week funds were released and part of the funding for November. Most local suppliers are still owed large amounts of money are scared to speak. Although funding has improved since Bwalya Ng’andu took over but what about the backlog? These are the challenges that will cause PF to be kicked out of office and not what the Bally Idyot is saying. Most SMEs don’t need to borrow, they want to be paid what they’re owed

  3. Our reputation as a “high risk country” to lend money to, or do business with, is intact. Our economic woes that objective people (such as the recently fired BoZ governor) continue to highlight are real, and they show themselves in many ways, including failure to pay debt to companies such as this Ugandan one. Only politically inclined mental retards say our economy is in perfect condition.

  4. More fake news. The upnd propaganda machine is working at full capacity. Hh is using all means to discredit this government. Go look into the records of this company, you will find that one bitter loser has a stake in it. Kz


  6. Uganda is the country which Idi Amin, and now they manufacture HIV medicines. And Zambia still getting rats in hospitals and in central bank.

  7. I commented earlier but it seems my comment didn’t appear. I said:

    More fayk news. The upnd propaganda machine is working at full capacity. Hh is using all means to discredit this government. Go look into the records of this company, you will find that one bitter loser has a stake in it. Kz

  8. We are paying the Chinese. And lets just be open to them that we recklessly borrowed and we are now in trouble and cant pay back. Only the truth will set us free

  9. If hh is sharp enough to be an investor in one of the largest ART manufacturing companies in Africa…..

    this is the man we need leading Zambia ,

    Not some drunk fraud convict who only know how to spend….

  10. The cost of employing the “uneducated” to run national affairs and plan development! Manufacturing is dead in Zambia. The UNIP government despite challenges of well versed indigenous human resources, industrialization received deserved attention and I do recollect existence of pharmaceutical companies, clothing, Sunquick juice which later moved to RSA, pineapple canning, Mansa Batteries and many more investments! Once upon a time, Yes, medicines were produced on Zambian soil!!!! How did we get where we are at that we as a country are in debt with about every other country and are failing to settle?

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