By Nalucha Nganga Ziba
Country Director, ActionAid Zambia
ActionAid Zambia welcomes the much-anticipated firing of Dr. Chitalu Chilufya as the Health Minister. We note that even before the HoneyBee scandal, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya had been at the center stage of various corrupt allegations in the Ministry of Health such as the theft of medication. ActionAid Zambia is of the considered view that Dr Chilufya must be held accountable for his actions in endangering the lives of Zambians and must face the law.
We demand that all those involved in this case be equally be relieved of their duties such as Zambia Medical Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) Management and Board together with the Medical Stores and the two Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Health. We also expect the Doctor’s Association of Zambia to take keen interest at the issue as it borders on medical ethics as they uphold professional ethical standards in the medical profession.
We note with concern and dismay the continued lack of remorse and disregard for human life by the medical institutions involved in this case as it has left the country in suspense in terms of supplied products as the Ministry of Health spokesperson indicated that the products where not distributed. However, ZAMRA issued a statement of recalling the supplied products.
More importantly, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya and his co-accused must now face the law for not only stealing from the Zambian people but also risking their lives. It is our sincere hope that an adequate and vigorous investigation will be undertaken to map out all those that were involved in the scandal and be prosecuted accordingly. We want to emphasize that prosecution is a major tool in the fight against corruption as it ensures that corrupt offenders are severely punished to deter would-be offenders.
Furthermore, the firing of Dr. Chitalu Chilufya should not be left to perish like the cases of other prominent figures such as the social cash transfer who were relieved of their positions over corruption allegations but still undergoing perpetual prosecution while others have not even undergone any form of investigation and prosecution. The law has to be enforced to set as an example and break the cycle of impunity or freedom from punishment or loss.