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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Nothing wrong with Ambulance procurement, cost should not deter us -Dr Chilufya

Headlines Nothing wrong with Ambulance procurement, cost should not deter us -Dr Chilufya

 Images showing the type of custom made ambulances that the Ministry of Health has contracted Savenda Management Services to supply.
Images showing the type of custom made ambulances that the Ministry of Health has contracted Savenda Management Services to supply.

Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya has maintained that he sees nothing wrong with the procurement of ambulances which many critics have maintained that the price was inflated.
But political activist Gregory Chifire has challenged Dr Chilufya to show the nation just one ambulance that has been so far delivered despite the fact that payment was made in December 2015.

In a statement, Dr Chilufya cautioned Zambians against perceiving corruption in public procurement.

He said the project to purchase ambulances is not new and that it was concluded by his predecessor late Dr Kasonde in March 2015.
Dr Chilufya said he has also reviewed the deal with a professional mind and that he sees nothing wrong with it.

The Health Minister says the Ministry’s need for advanced life support ambulances was not arrived at as an afterthought adding that there was and still is a need to have ambulances with Intensive Care facilities.

He said the need was necessitated by the PF’s decision to embark on a robust transformation agenda to provide access to health services for all Zambians.

“Custom-designed intensive care units are a lifeline for seriously compromised patients. Critically ill patients often need to be urgently transferred between hospitals so that they can receive highly specialised, often lifesaving care at the most appropriate facility. Such patients are often so compromised that they require an intensive care environment while en route between hospitals to ensure that they remain stable and safe throughout their transfer. Is it wrong for government to extend this service to ordinary citizens?”

Dr Chilufya also wondered where people got the highly publicised $288,000 per ambulance when the total cost of the project was $11.5 million.

“This alone should tell you the motive behind those who are stuck to this story. You should not even be misled into dividing $11.5m by 50 because the $11.5m package awarded to the successful bidder Savenda Management Services included a lot more than just the purchase of ambulances. It included training 200 people to support the operation of the ambulances which was 100 paramedics, 50 doctors and 50 mechanics. Apart from the training of the people manning these highly advanced ambulances, the package included the provision of spare parts for five years regardless of mileage,” Dr Chilufya explained.

He added, “When my Ministry bought 9 mobile clinics in 2010, we paid $3,3m on spare parts for a maximum of 2 years. The cost of getting technical support and training medical staff was $5.2m and we spent $6m on medical appliances and medicines. The 9 mobile clinics themselves cost us $36.3m. This sort of equipment is very expensive and this is why when my Ministry decided to buy these highly sophiscated life saving machines, the procurement was taken to the ZPPA and it was a very competitive international public tender that attracted no appeals from any losing firms when it was awarded to winning bidder Savenda with an $11.5m bid.”

Dr Chilufya has since urged Zambians to desist from bringing politics into issues surrounding the lives of the people.

 Images showing the type of custom made ambulances that the Ministry of Health has contracted Savenda Management Services to supply.
Images showing the type of custom made ambulances that the Ministry of Health has contracted Savenda Management Services to supply.

He said there is justification in investing in basic life support ambulances such as the Toyota Landcruiser ambulances purchased with the help of the Swedish government, in intermediate life support ambulances and in advanced life support ambulances like the Mercedes-Benz ambulances being supplied by Savenda because any of these can save a life at any time under different circumstances.

“Therefore the issue of cost should not deter the Ministry from investing in equipment that will save our people. It’s sad we have resorted to toxic politics at the expense of development. Nobody deserves to die and my Ministry, in line with the PF manifesto, will value every life irrespective of one’s perceived standing in society,” he stated.
But political activist Gregory Chifire has challenged Dr Chilufya to show the nation just one ambulance that has been so far delivered despite the fact that payment was made in December 2015.

Mr Chifire said, “All I stated is that us as citizens questioned the government decision to buy an Ambulance at $288,000 per unit. Dr Chitalu Chilufya responded that it was not $288,000 but $230,000, a figure that is still within what we said. You can Google for yourselves fellow citizens if the ambulance attached here under, brand new from show room can cost even half of the amount as given by our Honourable Minister.”

He added, “As if stealing from the people is not enough, the payment for the ambulances was made in December 2015, I challenge the Minister to show us just one ambulance that has been so far delivered.”

“The Minister claimed that the cost includes training and spares. When did Savenda start training medical personnel or mechanics, Mr Savenda himself doesn’t even know how to handle a syringe, now what useless training can he give to our well trained medical personnel? If there is form of training, it is done by the manufacturer, not Savenda. When did Savenda start dealing in ambulances? Don’t think we are gullible. Whether its $288,000 or $230,000, the cost is too high,” he maintained.

 Images showing the type of custom made ambulances that the Ministry of Health has contracted Savenda Management Services to supply.
Images showing the type of custom made ambulances that the Ministry of Health has contracted Savenda Management Services to supply.

[Read 472 times, 1 reads today]


  1. Every ambulance is custom made.. dont let these utterly shameless soulless thieves cheat you…no way can it cost more £100k

    • Other companies will even through in a central command comms vehicle for free at the price of £100k….these people in govt have no heart…this os the reckless we talk about.

    • We Zambians especially Lazy Lungu govt just like laziness, wasting and stealing money…a smart person would simply go to Europe and headhunt a manager from these companies: Mercedes-Benz box ambulance manufacturers WAS Germany Specialist and Volkswagen Crafter box ambulance builder UV Modular Ltd (Now folded) give them 5 year contract and IDC builds Ambulances right there in Lusaka or Kabwe.

    • I prayed that Chilufya is transferred to Ministry of livestock, to castrate bulls. But they punish Kampamba with that ministry.

    • How do you justify buying a Mercedes Benz with lowered suspension for a place like Katete or Nyimba or Lundazi…are you going to manage to replace the shock absorbers every 6 months?
      We have too many educated foooools like Dr. Chilufya in this “Zambian Enterprise” of “BR Junior” ….all this procurement process should have been decentralized…this is utterly recklessness and thief of the highest order.
      If I were President the only place I would place doctors who are Politicians is helping out at UTH…there would no doctors at Ministry of Health H/Q …only a few consultants

    • Wait you *****, Zambians will show you what is wrong when they grab all you ill gotten wealth and offer you accomodation in Chimbokaila.

    • There might be nothing wrong with ambulances (even the fire tenders), what was wrong was the price of them and the way they were procured and the people who procured them. Very dodgy characters who made a killing at the expense of the masses. PF fusekeni!

    • analyser – Ministry of Health would have simply approached WAS Ltd in Germany and they would have gladly supplied at less than half the price and negotiated with Mercedes to supply them 50 vans with a big discount but instead got a fellow thief as middleman …. everyone wants to eat from the orchard and the field.

    • I have said it many times that our educated people are useless as they have not used their education to help us the un-educated ones. Dr Chilufya is a doctor probably a medical doctor but look how low he can sink just to cover corruption. Surely he knows that a country like ours is poor and what we need is normal ambulances like the ones donated recently for $50000 USA But he tries to cover stealing.

    • The more you try to justify these issues the more you are making us angry. Just keep quiet and wait to go to jail when you time comes. Remember we will follow you everywhere even after you leave office

    • Foolish Dr Chilufya.If You cant see something WRONG? then Resign. Firstly, is Savenda Management Services a Mercedes or Automotive Dealer? Does the minister understand that the values quoted are nowhere close to any cost of any ambulance that size? What is custom or different about these ambulances. These ministers should stop “Barking like DOGs” because Zambians are not stupid. We know the price of these things and being a Government fleet deal?? It should be way cheaper as it is Tax exempt.

  2. High costs should be a reason to keep us thinking of better alternatives. Why not start by investing in good doctors and improving health standards in the hospitals? Then there will be no need for expensive ambulances.

    • Nostradamus, I don’t know about his professionality in the field but rational thinking is certainly not his strength.

    • Nine Chale don’t be ignorant ,the Germans ,Spaniards ,Japanese etc have very good world class hospitals & health systems but they MUST have ambulances also.

    • Wazamani, don’t you think that we first need a good infrastructure in hospital plus personnel to run before we THINK of Mercedes Benz Ambulances? Logic: provide ultra care for a patient, in transit maximum say 5 hours, because of bad road networks, and only to off load into a death trap for the next phase, more critical perhaps.

      The personnel in ambulances are only paramedics.

  3. There is nothing advanced about these ambulances, everything in them is basic. Our hospitals including some clinics have more advanced equipment which they use and operate daily without difficulty, what more these basic items. What training is the minister talking about? Somewhere in rural Kapiri Mposhi people are crying for a clinic, which would cost far less than the cost of one ambulance. But GRZ has not helped our fellow citizens there. If it’s about life saving why Didnt the GRZ at least build a clinic for those people in Kapiri? No explanation can make sense about these ambulances.

    • Nothing advanced and basic??? I trust you are an expert in the medical field?? Enlighten us on what equipment justifies an advanced ambulance and the difference with what MOH has ordered, Mr. Know-it-All???

    • Citizen…

      You have never seen an ambulance in Europe ? …..that picture of inside the so called “advanced ambulance” looks more like a basic cupboard …..nothing I see in there except a defurbirator costing $50.00…

    • Looks don’t prove squat diddly, bubblehead!!! You are in Europe, go to Ford, Mercedes and other manufacturers and show us a quote with the same specs Hon. Chilufya is talking about. Tayali did his reasearch and proved that Kambwili had committed fraud, so much do it is in court.


  4. When one commits an offence, confession and apology is the first step to restoration. But when an offender tries to justify their wrong, and tries to make those that he has offended look foolish or unreasonable, it becomes impossible to forgive.
    PF since you even have a “minister of religious affairs”, you should know this principle from the bible.
    So please just own up and apologize or keep quiet. It maybe that people may forget. as it is you are making us angrier and more bitter at your plunde of our money

  5. A quote for an ambulance on google?? That’s why I can never believe such rubbish, Greg. Mr. Savenda can’t handle a syringe?? Looks like a personal phd (pull him down) attack. He’s more successful than you, don’t see him as the bad guy. Be like Chilufya Tayali, get counter quotes and shame them with hard evidence-like he did with the 1.d.i.o.tic drum Kambwili, social media showboating will get you nowhere!!

  6. 11 MAY 2017 • 1:12PM – The Telegraph
    NHS trusts are buying “supersize” ambulances to cope with growing numbers of obese patients, new figures show.
    Ambulance trusts have spent at least £1.3 million on hundreds of reinforced vehicles, replacing ambulances with models which can take patients of up to 60 stone, new figures show.
    It comes in response to a ten-fold rise in obesity-related admissions.
    They have been used 1,700 times in five years, while other vehicles have been fitted with lifts and large stretchers at a cost of £36,000
    East of England has spent £432,000 on eight vehicles, with 16 bariatric stretchers, over three years.

  7. 10:58AM BST 15 Sep 2015 – The Telegraph
    The Welsh Ambulance Service is to be given 44 new vehicles as part of a major upgrade of more than £6.5million.
    The investment by the Welsh Government will cover the cost of 35 emergency ambulances and six patient transport vehicles.
    They will replace older models as part of the service’s fleet of more than 700 vehicles covering more than 8,000 square miles across Wales.
    Mark Drakeford, the health and social services minister, said it would reduce the number of vehicles needing repairs and help cut running costs.
    Latest performance figures show the demand placed on the Welsh Ambulance Service, with more than 36,000 emergency calls in June.

  8. Mercedes-Benz dealer Orwell Truck and Van wins £15m front-line ambulance order – 05/03/2014 in Fleet Industry News
    Ambulance chiefs covering six counties have embarked on a major upgrade of their front-line fleet in conjunction with East Anglian Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle dealer Orwell Truck and Van.
    The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust has taken the first deliveries from an order for 147 new vehicles worth some £15 million.
    Based on 5.0-tonne Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 519 CDI chassis, and fitted with purpose-designed box bodies by German specialist WAS, all are scheduled to enter service by the end of 2014.

    • And the Benz in the picture above on LT looks like its custom fitted by German specialist WAS check their website

  9. That’s a regular van costing about $38,000 standard and with medical gadgets added on,plus commissions and freight it should be not more than $100k in total.All other added costs are tenderpreneurs doing fraud on Zambian taxpayers.

  10. Good job! The working government and the losers are being fixed daily! The losers are a danger to the peace and prosperity of Zambia! Tribal!

  11. When HH finally makes up his mind that the Zambian people have rejected him, GBM will become the president of UPND, I am certain!

  12. Hehehehe

    You know when you are used of exporting illigal mukula logs in the dead of night when you think everyone is sleeping like lungu does , everything you do is to hide.

    50 ambulances needs 50 doctors ka ??

    • ” It included training 200 people to support the operation of the ambulances which was 100 paramedics, 50 doctors and 50 mechanics.”
      Really laughable…7 years at Ridgeway Campus and UNZA to seat in a van…shameful liars now Paramedic are being called doctors and each ambulance will have one mechanic …not even State House has one mechanic to each vehicle…these people are shameless liars.
      They will not rest in retirement these thieves 10 years from now!!

  13. What’s the point of procuring state of the art ambulances when the hospitals are in a dilapidated state? At least the patients will enjoy their ride to the hospital.

  14. What ever you are showing us in this photo-shopped picture are basic accessories for an umbulance and does not justify the exorbitantly high quoted prices.

  15. Ambulance Rescue
    Selling Price -$165,800.00
    Google and see this one and compare.


      – DIFF LOCK

      – TOTAL LENGTH 24′ 5″
      – TOTAL HEIGHT 9′ 5″

  16. After this issue of Road Ambulances is sorted out, the Ministry of Health should consider introducing Air Ambulance Services Countrywide- Helicopters and Fixed Wing Aircrafts.

  17. Dr Chilufya you are proving to be a corrupt thief as well, becarefull lungu will drag you down and to jail with him…..be very careful, be very very careful , all you have worked for will be lost.

  18. Check this machinr on this web carcotrucks.com/Pre-Owned-Inventory-2017-Freightliner-Medium-Duty-Truck-Marque-Ambulance-Rescue-Rice-Minnesota-4529974

    • USA uses Truck chassis with the box unit mounted on top; these Ambulances are very costly ….but in Europe they use a Van chassis then mount the box or simply modify the van itself like in the photo and they don’t cost more than $100K.

    • The total cost is about half the amount mentioned….manufactures throw in training and 5 year guratees as standard…

      Another classic PF koswe rip off …..and they tell us lungu gets updates from all ministries , to sanction this did he get a cut like in 42/42 ??

  19. Zoll X Series monitor with 12 lead ECG transmission: USD 20,450
    Ambulance conversion USD 25,560 – 38,340
    Lucas 3 (mechanical CPR device) US D20,450-25,560
    Ambulance cot: USD 5,100 to 12,780
    Ventilator/syringe pump: USD 12,780
    Communication devices: USD 2,560
    MAX Total USD 112, 470
    Isha chilonganino (PF): USD 150,000
    Training of cadres: USD 15, 000

    TOTAL USD 288,470

    shakwana we!!! The doc is right.

  20. @ 26 Patriotic Behind,
    These Kolwe Alila Mwibala Abomba way of calculating costs is what led Chiluba early to the grave once he left Office. It’s pathetic that anyone should go to such gutless length to try to justify the indefensible.

  21. Ubomba Mwibala Syndrome! Are these NEEDS or WANTS? Economists say we start getting into Financial trouble the moment we fail to differentiate the two. WANTS make us want to live beyond our means! A Mercedes comes with high maintenance costs. What’s really the point of investing in Ambulances when our hospitals have no medication? How different is this procurement from that of Mobile Hospitals? What has become of mobile hospitals? Too many Ambulances is a sign of inefficiency in a health system! Let’s invest in more diagnostics, treatment research and Human Resource across the country and we’ll have no need for Ambulances! Most Ambulances in Zambia are used as TAXIs to transport a patient from Shangombo to Cancer Disease Hospital just for a CT scan. It’s because our priorities are…

  22. It’s because our priorities are mixed up! We should be talking of a CT and MRI scanner in each provincial hospital this time. Moreover why is it that Tanzania has over 60 Radiologists (Not Radiographers) and we have less than 5 for the entire country? These are the inefficiencies that make us to think we need more Ambulances than Diagnostics and the human resource. We must begin to reprogram our mindsets and use our meagre resources wisely! These larvish procurements will not add much to our health delivery system and remember the useful life of vehicles is only 5 years! So does it mean we’ll be buying expensive Ambulances every 5 years instead of improving efficiencies of our health system?

  23. Chilufya and Co. should understand that what they are spending is not their personal money but public funds. Wide consultations and transparency is needed before carrying out such exercises. Stop the wanton use of OUR MONEY.

  24. @ 27 Patriotic Behind,
    On the eve of Sekura Robert Mugabe’s overthrowal, it was the ZANU-PF Youth League leader Kudzai Chipanga who declared, and quote: “Defending the revolution & our leader & president is an ideal we live for & if need be it is a principle we are prepared to die for.” A few hours later, Constantine Chiwenga had put chains on Kudzai’s ankles and hands. The chap was crying in a typical “mwabona cwale” or Mwamoneni nomba as Kambwili will say. If I were Patriotic Behind & Dr Chilufya, I would just shut up because these things have a way of coming back to hault you. It’s them who benefited not you.

  25. On a lighter side… What am I seeing in the last two pictures? I think I am seeing some kind of execution room American-style where they use a lethal injection to execute a condemned prisoner… ok thanks LT, it is confirmed that is indeed an ambulance room.

  26. Savenda Management Services Ltd is located in Lusaka, Zambia. Company is working in Cleaning equipment & Services, General office services, Printing, Secretarial services, Internet service providers, Event services, Audit and accounting, Business management consulting, Financial activity, Air transport, Logistics, Vehicle services, Shipping & Port agent, Environmental services business activities. If you have any questions, please contact us

  27. HaJealousy! Good job Mr. Minister! Please don’t listen to these cadres! They are motivated by tribalism nothing else.

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