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Does it make sense to send a thief to beg for us?

Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya is pleading with donors that have withheld coronavirus funding they pledged to fulfill their pledges.

“I also make a clarion call, therefore, to all our partners, stakeholders, to translate the pledges they made into tangibles. It is important that we move towards financing adequately key interventions such as testing, key interventions such as community engagement and risk communication; hard impact interventions such as aggressive contact tracing and case management; investing in testing reagents, investing in cartridges and other necessary medical supplies to improve our testing profile is extremely urgent,” says Dr Chilufya. “I urge all to unlock their pledges and ensure that the response is adequately resourced.”

It’s not going to be easy for Dr Chitalu to convince donors to release money to the Ministry of Health for the coronavirus.

Dr Chilufya’s credibility as Minister of Health is gone; he can’t be trusted.

Dr Chilufya has been arrested and charged with corruption by an agency of the same state apparatus he is serving.

And today all sorts of accusations of corruption and other abuses are flying around against him. How can one trust such a minister and give him money to manage?

Today sources within the Ministry of Health are saying Dr Chilufya had exhausted K500 million which was released by the Treasury within three days. This money was released some two to three weeks ago.

They are saying that whenever there is a bit of money in the Ministry of Health accounts Dr Chilufya and his team quickly uses it to service creditors, who are usually connected to them.

For as long as Dr Chilufya, who is in court on corruption charges remains Minister of Health, very few donors will put more money in the Ministry of Health.

It really doesn’t make sense for the Zambian government to give a begging bowl to someone it is accusing of theft. Who will trust him and put money in that bowl?

We can trust the person we are accusing of stealing from us but the donors won’t trust him.

The best thing for this country is for Dr Chilufya to step aside and let someone credible run the Ministry of Health for us.

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