SUSPEND HEALTH MINISTER-TIZ

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Stakeholders Have Called On President Edgar Lungu To Suspend The Minister Of Health And Both Permanent Secretaries At The Ministry Following Revelations Made During A Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Hearing Of The Ministry Of Health Drug Supply Scandal.The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chaired By Muchinga Mmd Member Of Parliament Howard Kunda On Wednesday Grilled Officials From Honey Bee Pharmacy, Zambia Medicines And Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), Zambia Bureau Of Standards (ZABS) And The Ministry Of Health Over The $17 Million Contract Awarded To The Pharmacy For The Supply Of Health Kits.During The Appearance Before Pac, It Was Revealed That Some Of The Condoms And Gloves Which Honey Bee Supplied Failed The Test, According To Zabs, To Which Committee Member Mwansa Mbulakulima Said That Was Tantamount To Genocide.But Transparency International Zambia Executive Director Maurice Nyambe Says President Edgar Lungu Should Suspend The Minister Of Health And Both Permanent Secretaries At The Ministry In Order To Pave Way For A Serious Independent Investigation To Be Conducted Into The Issues That Have Been Raised.Mr. Nyambe Is Also Proposing That President Lungu Should Also Consider Constituting A Commission Of Inquiry To Get To The Bottom Of These Scandals And To Make Recommendations That All Officials Implicated Face Punitive Action, Including Prosecution Where Necessary.He Has Further Proposed That The Ministry Of Health’s Status As A Government Procurement Entity Be Revoked With Immediate Effect As It Has Been Clear For A Long Time Now That The Ministry Does Not Have The Capacity To Engage In Procurement Activities That Are Above Board. Mr. Nyambe Believes That It Is Time Another Government Entity Was Given The Responsibility Of Procuring On Behalf Of The Ministry Of Health Until Such A Time That The Ministry Puts Its House In Order.He Is Saddened That The Ministry Failed To Properly Account For A Reported Zmw63 Million Which Remained From The Zmw4.6 Billion Allocation It Received From The Ministry Of Finance; And Awarded A Us$17million Contract To Honeybee Pharmacy Limited, Despite The Company Having 17 Irregularities As Reported By Zamra. The Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Executive Director Is Concerned That The Ministry Of Health Risks Becoming The Epicenter Of Corruption And The Revelations From The Pac Hearing Will Do Little To Convince The General Public Otherwise.(Qfm)