MINISTRY of Health permanent secretary for Administration Kakulubelwa Mulalelo has been directed to stop conducting her duties to pave way for investigations into payments of contractors and the handling of Covid-19 donations, News Diggers has learnt.
According to sources, Mulalelo’s duties related to authorising payments and contractual agreements have been assigned to Permanent Secretary in charge of Technical Services Dr Kennedy Malama.
Sources say a decision is underway to officially suspend and charge Mulalelo in relation to COVID- 19 donations, among other matters, which are subject of a pending investigation.
“There have been changes at PS level at the Ministry of Health. There is a decision which has been done. There are a lot of things that happen at that Ministry. It could be because of the Covid-19 donations. You know how these people work, they will try to cover it up. She was told to stop signing documents and that only Kennedy Malama was to be the one to be signing various documents,” sources explained.
“Remember the Minister of Health [Dr Chitalu Chilufya] was denying that no money was misapplied! The minimum you can expect is action. If you hide such things, one day they will come out and when they do, they come out in a dangerous form.”
The sources further said the Anti-Corruption Commission had been studying the matter.
“The challenge is that there is a certain kind of proximity between her and the Minister, so if you look at the manner in which the minister’s case was handled, you can imagine that her case will also be a difficult one because you know how PSs get instructions from their superiors at the ministry before even signing any documents. So you may be looking at a case where naba musambilamo (they have washed their hands and sacrificed her). Otherwise, I wonder if she could have been acting alone,” the sources said.
“This could also be extended to the handling of contracts such as Honey Bee and the Iveco deal for ambulances. There are serious irregularities in those deals which are of interest. How was a company that failed inspection tests given the US$17 million contract for supply of drugs? Who signed the Iveco contract, if there was a contract at all for that tender to be awarded? Those are the questions we are looking at. But at the moment, ACC is looking into that matter and I can confirm that the Commission has taken interest.”
Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr Abel Kabalo said: “No comments on that one.”
Efforts to get a comment from Mulalelo proved futile as her phone went unanswered.