Wednesday, August 04, 2010

RB’s govt bent on getting commissions from national deals – Nawakwi

RB’s govt bent on getting commissions from national deals – Nawakwi
By Patson Chilemba
Wed 04 Aug. 2010, 10:00 CAT

FDD president Edith Nawakwi yesterday charged that President Banda’s government is bent on getting commissions from national deals. Commenting on President Banda’s defiance against public opinion on the procurement of mobile hospitals, Nawakwi wondered why President Banda had insisted on acquiring a facility which would not work.

“But since this government is bent on consumption expenditure and commission, we are now requesting that in Chiawa area, since we don’t have a bridge they provide us with helicopter clinic,” Nawakwi said.

“Let me be very honest, why would anyone be insisting on a facility which doesn’t work? It only takes the President to leave his office to go to Chiawa. After two hours he will realise that this expenditure is just a frolic in a wrong direction.”

Nawakwi said the country had already been through the experiments President Banda was promoting, saying between 1992-93 the then health minister Dr Boniface Kawimbe provided ambulances to each district in the country.

“We have been ministers. When we talk it is because we have had this experience of mobile facilities which have no future or sustainability built around them. US $53 million dollars by 73 clinics, excluding the urban centres you would have at a cost of US $1 million per district an ultra modern referral centre in each and every district,” Nawakwi said.

“Why can’t they learn from us? When I went to Vienna, I pleaded for the Cancer Centre which they are now talking about. If I had gone to Vienna and said ‘can we have mobile clinics’, do you think they would be proud of this Cancer Centre now? It is simple logic. There is what is called consumption and investment, and this MMD government is on a frolic of consumption expenditure.”

Nawakwi asked President Banda to re-evaluate his strategy because what people wanted were permanent hospitals. She said President Banda should learn to listen to the people he was leading because without them he would not be in power. Nawakwi questioned President Banda’s priorities for the nation.

“Constantly for the past two weeks running, the pontoon in Chiawa has been out of use. It would serve a much greater good if he would go to China and borrow US $55 million to put up a bridge in Chiawa,” Nawakwi said.

“All we hear is lip service from none other than our President Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda. He literally makes a joke of our efforts in an area which was labeled marginal but we have managed to turn it around.”

Nawakwi wondered how President Banda’s mobile hospitals would operate in a country where there was poor infrastructure, especially roads.

“Are there incinerators in those mobile hospitals?” wondered Nawakwi.

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