WE for a long time advised President Edgar Lungu to fire corrupt ministers like Chitalu Chilufya but in his usual style he dismissed our advice with arrogance because he thinks that anyone who advises him is his enemy, says Gregory Chifire.
He asks the Health Professionals Council of Zambia (HPCZ) to seriously consider revoking Dr Chilufya’s practicing certificate because he “doesn’t deserve to be among those given responsibility to save human life – he has gone against the sacred Hippocratic Oath”.
Commenting on President Lungu’s dismissal of Dr Chilufya, Chifire said had the President listened to advice, people would not have consumed rotten Panadol or used defective condoms that may have resulted in them being infected with life-threatening diseases.
“He only wants ba kandile, ba mushanina bwali who tells him what he wants to hear. Mr Lungu should learn to listen to the voices of those he considers critics because we tell him the truth, we mean well. In fact, it’s the people that are around him that are toxic and don’t mean well for Zambia. They just want to eat, that’s all,” he said. “For us we genuinely love him, though we may not support some of the things happening in his government under his watch.”
Chifire, the Southern Africa Network Against Corruption (SANAC) director, said the dismissal of Dr Chilufya as health minister should mark the beginning of a quest to get justice for the many crimes he and his cartel at the Ministry of Health, Medical Stores, the Zambia Medical Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), HoneyBee Pharmacy and others have committed.
He insisted that Zambians want to see justice served.
“The crimes that Chitalu Chilufya and his cartel committed are too serious to be ignored. All those civil servants that were involved must be fired and prosecuted jointly with Chilufya so that a serious message is sent to would-be culprits. HoneyBee promoters and associates should also be prosecuted speedily,” Chifire said.
He added that Dr Chilufya’s actions deserve the highest level of punishment there is in the law, saying the former health minister was “a terrible human being” who deserved to be in jail for corruption, racketeering and crimes against humanity.
“It is so heart-wrenching to imagine the number of lives that have been destroyed due to his actions. The damage that has been caused by his action is very huge, some of it is irreversible. He should thank his god that he has lasted this long, otherwise he should have been fired long ago,” Chifire said.
He said Dr Chilufya had brought shame to the medical fraternity.
“With a heavy heart, I humbly ask the Health Professionals Council of Zambia (HPCZ) to seriously consider revoking this man’s practicing certificate because he doesn’t deserve to be among those given responsibility to save human life. He has gone against the sacred Hippocratic Oath. He has failed to live by the principles for which he was trained. Everyone’s eyes are on the HPCZ on the action they will take,” Chifire said.
He said Zambians are waiting to see how the law enforcement agencies would handle the matter.
Chifire warned that Zambians were also watching how President Lungu would address the matter, stating that it is either he serves the interests of the people or that of his colleagues.
He said Dr Chilufya was not the only minister that deserved to be sacked, stressing that there were many others who are known to be “corrupt to the teeth”.
“But because their corruption does not involve distribution of leaking condoms that leads to public uproar, the President is comfortable with them. It seems the President will only consider firing those whose actions directly affect his stay in office. It is clear that had the public not revolted, the President could not have fired Chilufya,” he said.
Chifire said President Lungu had “a very strange approach to serious national issues”, noting that he only acts when it’s convenient to him and not for the benefit of the people.
“Anyway, Zambians are watching closely how this and many matters are going to be handled. Mind you, this is a year of reckoning,” said Chifire.