COUNCIL of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) secretary general Father Emmanuel Chikoya says Zambia is reaping the consequences of not having a firm and decisive leadership to deal with corruption.
Fr Chikoya was commenting on a Diggers investigation which revealed that several high ranking police officers had been detained for conniving to steal drugs from Medical Stores Limited.
In an interview, Fr Chikoya said heads should roll.
“When we see the men in uniform, we see law and order and when such things happen, they tend to dent the image of the police service and you are looking at things that are much needed in the country, they are being diverted. The ripple effect is that people who would have benefited from this medication have not gotten that benefit, a few individuals are not benefiting and such behavior is strongly condemned. We call on the authorities to deal with this decisively. When you have a child in a home and you don’t discipline them in the name of love, they will literally get out of control and so we are seeing this scenario where we are reaping the consequences of not having a firm and decisive leadership to deal with these matters. Corruption is wickedness! It is on record that even a minister is saying when you steal, you steal for the future and they are still holding office, K2 Million is change. That becomes a source of concern,” said Fr Chikoya.
“It is not love to tolerate things that are taking the nation backwards in the sense indirectly you are killing people because vital resources are not taken where they are supposed to go. Basically, it’s a waste of resources and the stewardship of resources becomes a challenge. The desire of everybody is to see the heads begin to roll so that we begin to ensure that these things don’t become a normal thing and a clear message should be sent that when people mess up, they will definitely face the long arm of the law that is able to reach everybody without discrimination. Not what we see sometimes that certain people will be ruthlessly dealt with, others are protected when they are involved in corruption so basically it is a very unfortunate state of affairs. Lamenting about corruption is not going to do anything. It is time to take decisive action. The buck stops at leadership and nothing else.”
According to the investigation, the police officers used forged documents and dispatch notes to collect an assortment of drugs from Medical Stores, which they would take for sale in Central Province, among other places. Assistant Commissioner Kennedy Chikwanda who is Hospital Administrator at Sikanze Police Hospital in Lusaka; Chief Inspector Potfer Phiri, a Hospital driver; Inspector Sydney Kalonga who is the driver for Dr Phiri the deputy Commissioner of Police and medical director; civilian Vincent Chibale and Alister Lungu the driver for Commissioner of Police in charge of administration at Force Headquarters, Lombe Kamukoshi, have all been implicated in the drug theft scandal.
Sources at the Zambia Medical Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) told News Diggers that in the latest drug pilferage transaction which was intercepted around Nangoma Mission Hospital, a police ambulance was caught on Camera offloading stolen drugs, in a scam that has sent two of the suspects on the run.