Sunday, June 16, 2024

Sweden delays release of US$50m to Ministry of Health


Ministry of health spermanent secretary velepi mtonga talking to reporters on he embezzling of public funds by civils servants at the ministry
Ministry of health Permanent Secretary Velepi Mtonga talking to reporters on he embezzling of public funds by civils servants at the ministry

The Swedish government has delayed the release of US$50 million which was due for disbursement this month.

Swedish Embassy deputy head of mission, Charlotta Norrby, said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that her Government has not suspended aid to the Ministry of Health but has just delayed the release.

“What we have done so far is that we have delayed our disbursement to the health sector and this means that we are not suspending this for good. We are looking forward to the findings of the final report,” she said.

Ms Norrby also said that the cooperating partners had a fruitful meeting with President Banda on Tuesday regarding the measures Government has put in place to bring to book officers who allegedly stole over K10 billion at the Ministry of Health.

Ms Norrby who is also Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) country director, said donors have been holding informal meetings with Government for almost two weeks and are happy with the measures that have so far been put in place to investigate corruption allegations at the Ministry of Health.

“We have been holding meetings with Government informally for almost two weeks and yesterday (Tuesday) we met the President and had very fruitful discussions with him,” she said.

Ms Norrby said the donors are impressed with the work being carried out by the Anti Corruption Commission and the Auditor General’s Office so far and are looking forward to seeing the results of the investigations at the Ministry of Health.

She said the Swedish Government is waiting for Government to do its work within its timeframe but is eager to see the results of the investigations as soon as possible.

Ms Norrby also said Sweden is concerned about the negative impact the delay in [quote]disbursing funds to the Ministry of Health may have on the lives of ordinary citizens.

“Of course we are concerned about the impact this may have on the lives of ordinary people just as Government is. That is why we want this to move as quickly as possible,” she said.

Ms Norrby said Sweden is ready to continue supporting the health sector in Zambia and it has continued to support other sectors like agriculture and energy which are not affected by the delay in disbursing funds.

And Ms Norrby said donors are ready to financially assist the Ministry of Health and the Auditor Generals’ Office if they make a formal request to enable them clear the alleged corruption mess at the ministry.

[Zambia Daily Mail]


  1. It will be very difficult to run the Healthy sectors without reliable partners like the Scandinavian.These peole have evry right to withhold or suspend their aid because they are also answerable to the swedish taxpayers.I cant blame them but our civil cervice which is almost non-function because of the system under which it operates.

  2. Even at home if your wife’s spending of ration money is dubious you can suspend giving her any more money until she explains how she is using it. Simple logic.

  3. Kulimbozi no muzulu Ku MOH. Am sure if all this money going to the ministry of health was used properly, Zambia would have built an excellent Hospital and equipped UTH long time ago. There is serious money in this ministry

  4. #3. Deja Vu. A housewife who spent money meant for T/bone steak on her hairdo in Chunga Township in Lusaka was immediately fired(divorced) by her husband with no terminal benefits. It can be that bad.

  5. That’s what you get for taking donors funds for granted. Now you have to start convincing mum that you will never steal from your brothers and sisters again…meanwhile you get no money and your brothers & sisters continue to suffer. What a shame!

  6. I hope other donors will follow suit until some sanity is restored. Looks like this is the stimulus we need. Gosh, they’re behaving like tods this government. Now I see the logic in Dambisa’s turn off the aid tap arguement! Those guys were stealing because they knew for sure more would come without any questioning. Honestly if I was a tax payer in a donor country I would petition my govt to forget helping govts like ours until they prove they are worth every dime.

  7. Quenching thirst delayed. Don’t worry people without money and a livelihood; you shall drink your daily ration of water next year. In the meantime just tighten your belts.

  8. Well, what else can you say? There goes another donor. Frankly, I believe it’s now time we applied Dr. Dambisa Moyo’s “Died Aid” prescription to Zambia—to seriously start considering turning off the Foreign Aid tap. Maybe this will wake our government up since cries from ordinary Zambians don’t seem to faze them at all. With the level of greed and dishonest we are witnessing among public official’s in Zambia, it would be surprising if one of the “four horsemen of the African apocalypse (Corruption)”, which Dr. Moyo talks about in her book (Died Aid), doesn’t have his headquarters in Zambia. Why, Mother Zambia, why? Are we really that cursed???

  9. We shouldnt even complain, its becuase of our selfishness. let them hold on to the money for as long as they want

  10. Well its good that donors must very critical on the money they are giving, they are only trying to help us and we need to be transparent in the manner that we are using that money. Govt must put in measures to insure that the money being recieved from donors is put to its intended purpose and not only in the ministry of Health but also other ministries and sectors of govt. Its really embarassing for our govt to fail to notice when people are stealing all those huge sums of money. It simply shows how porous the govt financial system is. I urge the donor community to very firm on the govt and see to it that the money being donated is utilised effectively and for the intended purpose.

  11. Perhaps we should consider privatizing our health care system so as to ensure a more reliable, competitive and self sustaining health care system where there are always drugs in hospitals and nurses as well as doctors get their wages on time.

    Govt, consider this.

  12. #8 Nine Chale. 1st we must know why in the 1st place we had to go to the Donors to help finance our consumption. I ask this because Zambia had alot of money at Independence. I can also answer this myself. FINANCIAL INDISCIPLINE is the cause of the embarrassment and humoliation that we are facing now. Like some one has already said- stealing started in Unip days where Parastatals were easy meat by the “clever ones.” We failed to expand on the money that we inheritated and as a result we had to go on our knees to beg from the very people that we had liberated ourselves from. The insantiable apetite for luxury has continued even up to now and it d

  13. Haaaaaah!Sweden has every right to hold on to that money,its TAX PAYERS MONEY. I bet kapoko should be the most cursed person by his accomplices,apenya idilu by his extravagance. All those ‘budgets’ have now been torn to shreds.Its good kapoko didn’t follow the footsteps of the mexican drug lords who’ve stopped living da life of bling for fear of detection,otherwise na $50m ngayaliya! Heard a rumor that what blew it all up was when our ‘starring’ went and parked his hummer in Teta’s GX slot at Local Govt,comrade benny blew his top & demanded a probe!

  14. Dr. Mtonga and your friends, do you honestly need the donors to come into your ministry to manage the aid they are giving your department. Why are you operating like ba kaponya mu station who will account to no one as long as they have received cash end of story. I wonder if at all you have any accouting systems in place. Let the donors withhold their money before it is plundered further.

  15. Thats good. Now we will see who is who. And don’t just target MoH, extent to all ministries. Mines, Agric, Finance etc

  16. I think it is important to see this with the seriousness it deserves. Zambia and Africa generally have never been able to operate without donor funds. That said and settled, once the culprits have been identified, it is proper that government first locks them then sells the property to recover the funds and then reinvest them in the minstry to the appropriate use it was initially supporting. This said after the report has been concluded donors government needs QUICK ACTION, not the snail’s pace that we have since seen from the same incident. this is plain and simple, the man stole: it does not matter who is at stake let them be caged after all it is us the people the public that can’t afford tickets to south africa that will be heavily affected.

  17. To address all this crap, do we really need an economist or a lawyer or an engineer in state house? Or we just need someone who can have the job done, someone who can assemble a team of competent people to run government, a blacksmith who knows what it takes to manage a country and serve its people properly? We are told all sorts of lies during campaigns: ‘vote for me, I will do this and that because I am an economist( or because I have a degree).’ The day Jesus will come back people – he wont just come to turn the tables upside down, but will also come with a big sjambok and you shall hear plunderers wailing all over the place. Can you imagine someone who steals money meant for the sick?

  18. this will only go out to other ministries when donors withhold their surport thats when Nyama soya will do something.RB is just like a robot with a remote funny!

  19. These Swedes are behaving like the mordern day colonilist. We need realiable ‘friends’ in sector such as health. These are the same europeans who have plundered our resources over the years….don’t get me wrong… GRZ plunderes must be punished. The point is the swede can not choose to submit us to secondary effects of this stolen money by closing the inflow tap. To the swedes, jump into the meditreanean sea with your swedes kwachas… Dr Sondashi…where is the herbal medicine… I need a sip.

  20. #19, FUMPA-FUMPA, your comment is not appropriate. what is happening in Zed is a necessary evil. we dont like corruption but we cannot stamp it out completely and when such scandals are brought to light they give us a chance to look at ourselves as a nation and from there corrective measures are taken. what could be the root cause of all this rot, could it be that some people in govt are so much in NEED or they are just GREED?

  21. Africans are born thievies….. they will also steal from the dead and the dying. Its gross and just shows why Africa is so far behind development when the rest of the world is surging ahead.

  22. It’s a shame to pocket $10 billion of donrs’ money. It’s even more of a shame to be so reliant on foreign aid, Africans are still a long way.

  23. #23 Pan Africanist: Please remember we are just beggers, dont blame Sweeden for your theiving brothers and sisters

  24. #23. Pan Africanist. In terms of strength, how any milligrams are contained in 5mls or 1teaspoon of the Sondashi Formular? My newborn baby might need some.

  25. The risk of employing Bemba when you know that they are lazy, unproductive and ever wanting easy money for katata.Mwanawasa said it all balanunka.

  26. On “Ms Norrby also said Sweden is concerned about the negative impact the delay in
    And Ms Norrby said donors are ready to financially assist the Ministry of Health and the Auditor Generals’ Office if they make a formal request to enable them clear the alleged corruption mess at the ministry…. “Of course we are concerned about the impact this may have on the lives of ordinary people just as Government is. That is why we want this to move as quickly as possible,” she said
    “, this is great stuff.

    Whatever negative impacts are on the way, we MUST never entertain corruption by providing more funds when things are not clarified.

    Such reasoning is what I meant when Zimbabwe needed Zambian money for help, the she hasn’t removed Mugabe.

    Prevention is better than…

  27. #34.
    Check s:
    he risk of employing Bemba when you know that they are lazy, unproductive and ever wanting easy money for katata.Mwanawasa said it all balanunka.

  28. I wonder where we are going. Any way the govt is full of BIG plunderers thats why they have been shielding them. God help us. I wonder who made a descission to by those mandamandas

  29. As long as we shall remain Pooor then people will be trying to get rich by misuse of Donor funding, but Who will increase the salaries of the poor healthy workers???????????

  30. hmm. I think zambians need to learn the hard way. There are always people to bail you out, that is why there is all this laziness. Govts have no agenda and just do ‘something’ to have on record. Keep that money longer.

  31. Its a sad development. This problem doesn’t only exist in the MOH, all government institutions need a thorough clean up if it were possible. Services are not being delivered to ordinary Zambians because of greed of a few individuals.
    What Zambians should realise is that even if donors are financing gov’t programes ultimately it is the Zambian tax payer who has to pay for loans donors give us. So these individuals are stealing from all Zambians paying tax , so they are stealing our money and at the same time denying us services. Stiffer punishment should be enacted for such crimes. Thom Shonga, UK

  32. Because of these thieves we have in MoH, see what’s happening. The much needed cash ca not be released coz donors are scared that it wont reach the inteded target. Let those thieves face he wrath of the law.

  33. Pan Africanist @ #25, I must disagree with you. Unlike Zambia, western countries like Sweden are answerable to their taxpayers, in other words, their citizens for the money that is given out as aid. They are not as irresponsible as we are to continue to pour their citizens’ hard-earned money down the bottomless pit of aid without questioning how that aid is being used! Africans cannot continue to hide their ineptitude and failure to deliver the goods to their own people behind their colonial past in this 21st century. That’s the height of irresponsibility and stupidity! We must learn to take ownership of our own actions.

  34. Folks, it’s common knowledege any institution operates on sector specific budgets which are then consolidated into the main one. Financial indiscipline includes among other things:(1). buying something which is necessary and important for the organisation either using a wrong budgetary allocation or without having budgeted for such an item.( 2). Buying goods and services at higher-than-market-related prices (even if such items were budgeted for and coreect budgetary allocations used) (3). Failing to put your organisation at best advantage by purchasing quality goods (e.g. paying the same price of a higher quality of commodities to buy low grade items) (4). Limiting your database of your service providers, thereby creating a monopoly of services to only a selected few etc, etc….

  35. This is shameful. People should be ashamed of themselves. Some of these chaps are parents. Children believe their dad or mum has gone to work, not to steal.

  36. Donors should not only demand accountability from GRZ but should pressure RB & his GRZ to revive Central Board of Health as it will be easier for Donors to monitor the implementation of the various projects under MOH. For as long as the donor funds go straight toMOH they will be prone to abuse by MMD. In the past that is the only ministry which had a lot of donor funds. The disbandment of CBOH was well designed to siphon donor funds for MMD campaigns from 2001 to last years Presidential By Elections. We saw for ourselves how vehicles were being used in ruarl districts by MMD for campaigns. We nid those donor funds and accountability on our part as reciepient through CBOH to curb the abuse. Even the chaps tjat are implicated saw something weak with the system and jumped on bandwagon.

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