Kafue District Commissioner (DC), Grace Ngulube, has ordered the closure of Viking Pharmaceuticals for manufacturing and packaging alcohol popularly known as “Tujilijili” in sachets which were recently banned by government.
Mrs Ngulube ordered the closure of the Viking Pharmaceuticals formally called Nkwazi, when she visited the company after a tip off that the company was illegally manufacturing tujilijili.
Speaking to ZANIS after inspecting the company, Mrs Ngulube said Viking Pharmaceuticals had defied government’s order to stop packaging alcohol in sachets, hence the company has to be closed immediately.
Mrs Ngulube said there was an overwhelming proof that Viking Pharmaceuticals was manufacturing and packaging alcohol in sachets as evidenced by the empty packaging materials that were found in one of the rooms at the company.
And Viking Pharmaceuticals Marketing Manager, Emmanuel Bwanali admitted that alcohol was being manufactured at the premises but said it was a different firm which was using Viking pharmaceutical premises to distil the alcohol while his company was only manufacturing ropes and twines.
Mr Bwanali disclosed that the owner of the company, Manuchi Patel, fled to India after he was informed that the District Commissioner had summoned him to her office to answer allegations of failing to pay his workers according to the revised minimum wages.
But District Administrative Office, Jairos Simukoko, told Mr Bwanali that it was an offence to harbour people who were doing illegal business and sternly warned them of serious consequences.
And workers at Viking Pharmaceuticals in Kafue have appealed to government to repossess the company because the owner has allegedly failed to run it as he had started removing the machines from the company and ferrying them to India.
The workers, who sought anonymity, stated that some machines for making fishing nets had already been taken to India, a situation which has led to Viking Pharmaceuticals fail to produce nets.
Last week, Mrs Ngulube summoned Mr Patel to her office after she received reports that Viking Pharmaceuticals was packaging alcohol in sachets which was banned by government last year.