• Dr. Chilufya’s dismissal is important and necessary.
• Law enforcement Agencies must investigate the scandal.
• Everyone involved must be held accountable for their actions.
Transparency International Zambia (TI-Z) says the dismissal of Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya in light of the Honey Bee Pharmacy Scandal is a very important first step towards cleaning up the Ministry of Health.
Organization Executive Director Maurice Nyambe told Money FM News in an interview that Dr. Chilufya’s position as Minister of Health had become untenable.
Mr. Nyambe however said Dr. Chilufya’s dismissal should not be the only action taken as a response to the scandal.
He stated that there is need for Law Enforcement Agencies to open investigations into Dr. Chilufya’s role in the Honeybee supply scandal involving $17 million.
“TI-Z has taken note of the decision President Edgar Lungu has taken to dismiss Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya in the wake of the Honey Bee Pharmacy Scandal. We welcome this move as a very important and necessary first step towards cleaning up the root that appears to be deeply rooted at the Ministry of Health.”
“But beyond this, our hope is that as important and necessary a step as this is, we are hoping that it will not be the only action that we see in response to this scandal. Our expectation is that the law enforcement agencies will open investigations into Dr Chilufya’s role in the honeybee scandal and that if he found culpable, then he should prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We do not believe that dismissing Dr. Chilufya should be the end game concerning this, it should not the end in itself because there are several layers to this scandal,” Mr. Nyambe said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Nyambe reiterated calls for a full investigation to be carried out into all the layers of the honey bee scandal to ensure that everyone that was involved is held accountable for their actions.
“We therefore wish to reiterate our call for a full investigation to be carried out into all the layers of the honey bee scandal in order to get the bottom of the issue, and also to ensure that everybody that was involved is held accountable for their actions.
“I think a message should be sent that we will no longer as a country tolerate acts of this nature by our leaders and that everyone that puts the lives of Zambians at risk is really going to be held accountable. And everyone who misuses national resources or is involved in any acts of corruption using national resources will be held accountable and I think that is the message we need to send out very strongly,” he added.
On Sunday, President Edgar Lungu terminated the appointment of Dr. Chitalu Chilufya as Minister of Health and replaced him with Dr. Jonas Chanda, who was Minister of Water Development.
It has been established that Medical Stores Limited was allegedly authorized by the Ministry of Health to distribute leaking condoms and defective gloves worth over US$224, 000 supplied by Honey Bee Pharmacy despite the supplies failing tests by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS).
This came to light during the appearance of Ministry of Health, Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority, Medical Stores Limited, Zambia Bureau of Standards and Honeybee Pharmacy Limited, before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee last week.