- It has been established that a supplier, Honeybee supplied leaking condoms, gloves and fake medicine
By AARON CHIYANZO
HEALTH minister, Chitalu Chilufya has been fired with immediate effect.
President Edgar Lungu has since transferred Water and Sanitation minister, Jonas Chanda to the Ministry of Health.
President Lungu has appointed nominated Member of Parliament, Raphael Nakacinda as minister Water and Sanitation minister.
He has since wished Dr Chilufya well in his future endeavors.
This is according to a statement issued by special assistant to the President for press and public relations, Isaac Chipampe.
In February 2015 Dr Chilufya was appointed Deputy Minister of Health.
After retaining his seat in the 2016 general elections, he was promoted to Minister of Health.
Dr Chilufya’s sacking follows the revelation by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) that the ministry allowed the distribution of substandard medical supplies by Honeybee which was awarded a US$17 million contract to supply medical kits.
This was revealed at the PAC hearing where Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Administration Kakulubelwa Mulalelo, and director for procurement Wilson Banda, ZAMRA Medical Stores Limited (MSL), and the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) were summoned.
And ZABS executive director Manuel Mutale confirmed that according to tests the latex condoms and gloves supplied by Honey Bee, were substandard and the results were submitted to ZAMRA and Medical Stores for a decision to be made.
And ZAMRA admitted that there has been an oversight by the institution to not recall the products from the market because the authority has been waiting for other test confirmations from Zimbabwe.
MSL distributed condoms and gloves to the public that did not meet the required standards set by the Zambia Bureau of Standards in September, 2020.
But the Committee heard that unfortunately the fake condoms, gloves and paracetamol was authorized for distribution more than three months ago by the office of the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health despite the items being substandard.
The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Administration, ZAMRA and Medical Stores all struggled to give satisfactory answers on why fake condoms and gloves have been distributed to the public and no recall of the products has been done three months after the distribution, thereby putting the lives of many people across the Country in danger.
Meanwhile, Honey Bee Pharmacy through one of its directors Zakir Motala failed to provide the addresses of the company as documents availed did not have such information including letter heads and has been ordered to provide the information in a few days.
And as more irregularities were revealed in the multimillion dollar contract, it was discovered that ZAMRA in 2019 did reject awarding Honey Bee a certificate due to 17 inadequacies, but after the release of the Auditor General’s Report in 2020, meeting without minutes was held by ZAMRA on a weekend and certification was done.
Chairperson of PAC Howard Kunda and his members rebuked the Ministry of Health for what they called poor and reckless running of a sensitive Ministry that deals with lives of people and demanded that all the anomalies be resolved even if a lot of damage has already been done.