PAC sends Health PS, team away

MMD Mafinga MP Cathrine Namugala
MMD Mafinga MP Cathrine Namugala

THE Public Accounts Committee yesterday sent away Health permanent secretary Davy Chikamata and his entourage for failure to provide a satisfactory response over unaccounted for funds, drugs and medical supplies.
The PAC heard that the ministry was owing the Government in excess of K8million in unaccounted for funds and drugs.
The ministry was also owing Government unaccounted for K4million worth of drugs.
MMD Lunte Member of Parliment Felix Mutati, who acted as chairperson on behalf of MMD Chipangali MP Vincent Mwale, said the submission by the Ministry was very sad considering the fact that there was no health infrastructure in rural areas.
MMD Mafinga MP Cathrine Namugala and PF Chama North MP January Zimba were concerned that drugs worth K722,000 were not delivered to various district offices.
Ms Namugala was also concerned that the Health ministry had in excess of K8million in unaccounted for funds.
Mr Zimba said Government could lose popularity because of the poor health infrastructure and drugs in rural areas and yet Government officers were not adequately accounting for the funds.
The PAC was also appalled by the failure by the ministry of Health’ failure to comply with the tender procedures in the purchase of drugs.
UPND Mwembeshi MP Austin Milambo demanded action against those behind missing payment vouchers and other unretired imprest.
Mr Chikamata assured the committee that most of the unaccounted for funds had since been recovered and the concerned officers had been cautioned.
But the committee argued that cautioning on its own was not enough.
Mr Mutati said the committee had sent back the ministry entourage because they did not provide tangible documents to support the fact that the drugs and funds in question had been recovered.
“Medical service delivery is important to development. Go back and resubmit to the committee and include action that will be taken against erring officers,” the committee said.
Mr Chikamata said his ministry would deal with the issues raised.