ACTION Aid Zambia says the continued happenings at the Ministry of Health are a result of the low prosecution rate of corruption cases in the country.
And Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba says the occurrences at the Ministry of Health indicate that the PF under President Edgar Lungu do not regard the health of Zambians.
Commenting on the Ministry of Health audit for the financial year ended December 31, 2020 which revealed that drugs and medical supplies worth over K166 million reported to have been dispatched from Medical Stores Limited to 23 health stations did not reach the destinations as at April 30, 2021, Action Aid country director Nalucha Ziba described the incident as corruption.
She added that as long as no prosecutions were made, the country would continue on the same trajectory.
“Notwithstanding the current gaps we have in the Anti-corruption legal framework, the continued recurrence of corruption is as a result of among other things low prosecution rate of corruption cases in Zambia. Since the (Levy) Mwanawasa’s new deal government, there has been little or no prosecution of corruption cases, especially for politically exposed individuals. It’s either they take long or forever to be prosecuted or not even prosecuted at all. For example, last year we had the honeybee scandal but we are almost half way through this year and no one has been arrested and prosecuted. So long as we continue on this trend, we will continue on the same trajectory,” said Ziba.
“This has not done the country a service of inhibiting and mitigating occurrence of future corruption incidents. Empirical evidence shows that there is a correlation between high corruption cases and low prosecution rate of corruption cases in the country. Prosecution of corruption offenders acts as a deterrent to would-be offenders. Finally, we also observe that there is little or no political will in fighting, mitigating and more importantly prosecution of grand corruption.”
And Kalaba charged that the continued scandals at the Ministry of Health showed that the PF only cared about corruption and had no regard for life.
“This country is bleeding in corruption, especially the health sector. You know they have destroyed this country beyond measure. It is a shame that we can have the Ministry of Health being engulfed with such situations when many of our citizens are harmed every day because of a lack of drugs. We are having millions of our citizens failing to access medical care and yet corruption is rife. This tells you that the PF government has no regard for life whatsoever. They don’t care! All they care about is corruption,” Kalaba said.
“The Zambian people have an option; they have an opportunity to kick them out once and for all and put in the DP that is going to curb corruption. We know where we are going to seal the loopholes, we have been in government before, we know where we are going to seal these loopholes. Those that have done all these things will have to tell us where they are taking these resources.”
Kalaba claimed that President Lungu had destroyed the country because of his lack of will to fight corruption.
“There is no political will by the PF government. The PF don’t care about the lives of Zambians! President Lungu doesn’t care about corruption. He doesn’t, because if he cared about corruption some of the Ministers who are walking scot-free today should have been imprisoned. Some of the people he was just firing them instead of taking them to court, but because they celebrate it, he doesn’t care about corruption that is why the country is like this. The man has destroyed this economy, the man has taken us to the lowest. Never in the history of this country have we seen a leadership that condones corruption the way we have seen it with the current President. It is very sad; you should stop propagating corruption,” said Kalaba.
“DP in power is going to clean up the Ministry of Health from day one. From day one we are going to bring forensic auditors to tell us why we are supplied with rotten drugs? Why today medicines are finding themselves on the market instead of the hospitals? Why don’t we have equipment, even simple equipment. We don’t have in this country. Where are we going? Them, when they get sick, they are going to South Africa, they are going to India, they are going to Dubai, us when we get sick, we die here in this country!”