Gregory Chifire has told off Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya accusing him of belonging to theiving government.
Dear Dr. Chitalu Chilufya,
Somebody tagged me to your face book posting on the so called ‘Custom-designed intensive care Ambulances. Thank you for the effort you made to try to justify day light theft of Public money.
To start with Dr. Chilufya, we have not time to start politicking, as you claim in your posting, especially politicking with a thieving Government like the one you are serving. All we are doing is to question the corruption that your government is wantonly involved in. This is our money as a nation. Bear with me for reminding you that only a few days ago, your President, our President, confirmed and encouraged this corruption in a public gathering, so spare your breath to deny corruption. It is about ‘uubomba mwibala, alya mwi bala’, that’s how it goes in your government.
Our good Doctor, we support your intentions to procure those units, the reasons are good and I quote your reason verbatim hereunder; ‘Custom-designed intensive care units are a lifeline for seriously compromised patients. Critically ill patients often need to be urgently transferred between hospitals so that they can receive highly specialised, often lifesaving care at the most appropriate facility. Such patients are often so compromised that they require an intensive care environment while en route between hospitals to ensure that they remain stable and safe throughout their transfer. Is it wrong for government to extend this service to ordinary citizens?’, end of quote. Every right thinking Zambian would agree with you on this, though it is not an emergency, but I, like many others don’t agree with you on the cost.
Your justification for the total project cost of $11.5m dollars is flowed, lacks sincerity and confirms the corruption we have been talking about. All we wanted was for you to confirm the price, that’s all, and then we are game. You have further advised us not to bother to divide $11.5 by 50, well, doctor, we are not using your head to divide, so don’t worry, we already divided. It is not possible under heaven that a brand new Mercedes Benz like the one you posted can cost more than $50,000, thanks to internet; we are able to compare prices from the comfort of our homes. Accessories, spare parts, shipping ant training cannot cost $180,000, more than three times the cost of vehicle. The total cost of $230,000 per unit according to what you have given us, is theft bwana. Yourself and Savenda know the real cost per unit, certainly not what you have given us. Yes Savenda wants to maximize profit, but not those numbers.
Yes Zambians may need this facility, but not at such an inflated price. Doctor, your argument amazes me. You claim that the money you paid to Savenda includes spare parts for 5 years, and training of Doctors, Paramedics and Mechanics. Educate us, sir, will Savenda open a University to train these Doctors and Paramedics, will Savenda open a Trades School to train Mechanics. As far as am concerned our Doctors and Paramedics are well trained, all they will need is a one week orientation to work with equipment on the ambulance, which ordinarily is not any different to the one they are used to in hospitals, save for a few adjustments. The patients they handle when transporting on these ambulances, are not different from the patients they have been handling, unless, there is a new disease you wish to manufacture with Mr. Savenda, otherwise there is nothing extra ordinary to warrant such a huge cost. As about mechanics, you know the answer. Ask Southern Cross how many Youths who are trained to work on the Mercedes Benz flock their premises to look for jobs, all they will need is orientation to work on the ambulance, and that cannot gobble a lot of money. On the issue of Spare parts, am not sure if it makes sense for you to pay in advance to the vendor, we don’t know what problems all faults those auto mobiles will develop. Unless you have become a mechanic prophet Sir, we will understand. All was need was a normal provision in the budget for spare parts and repairs. Well that having been said, you have not showed us not even one unit of these ambulances when they were paid for in 2015. Where are our ambulances? You have inflated the prices but still you can’t deliver, what sort of people are you.
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