The Ministry of Health has interdicted 28 of its personnel from various public health facilities across the country for various misconduct cases including rape and theft.
The move takes the number of the suspended workforce to close to a hundred after the ministry also suspended over 60 health workers over fraud.
The interdicted personnel range from Grade I to Grade P and worked from various district health offices, sources and documents sourced have indicated.
A memo dated 29th January 2016, addressed to Minister of Health Dr Peter Kampalume, authored by the ministry’s Human Resource Management officer Alex Makananje which we have in possession reads:
“I have the honour Sir to submit a list of outstanding theft cases in the Ministry of Health as per our discussions of yesterday, 28th January 2016.
“In summary, 26 are theft cases and 2 are rape cases. Attached is the summary sheet for your information, Sir.”
Principal Secretary for Health McPhail Magwira’s number was out of reach when contacted for comment while Kampalume was said to have just jetted in from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he went to attend to other government duties.
But Director of Health Services Dr Charles Mwansambo, who could neither confirm nor deny the development, asked for more time before he can competently comment over the issue when contacted for comment.
“The ministry is vast; so too is its human resource. And as such, we cannot know all the developments happening around the country at once, let alone those who have just been indicted,” said Dr Mwansambo.
However, reports indicate that of the 28 interdicted, whose cases are currently in various courts, 26 have been interdicted for theft while the other two are being tried for rape.
Our findings can also reveal that the two rape suspects, a medical assistant and a health surveillance assistant (HSA), worked under Blantyre District Health Office. While the former is being tried for raping a 16-year-old, the latter is said to have indecently assaulted a pregnant woman while he was counseling her.
The other notables indicted include a principal secretary from the ministry headquarters and four senior accounts officers at two of the major referral health facilities in the country who were indicted for misappropriating government funds.
The rest are medical assistants, security guards, laundry attendants, pharmacy technicians and hospital attendants.