Ministry of Health and Central Statistics workers who conducted the 2013 Demographic Health Survey have been swindled out of over K3 million (3 billion old currency).
The health survey programme is responsible for collection of representative data on health and population and was conducted from July 2013 to February 2014.
The programme was funded by the USAID and the Ministry of Health but the Central Statistics Office was the implementing agent.
Some health workers who participated in the survey revealed that they were entitled to K180 per day translating to K5400 per month but were only paid K3,780 per month while Editors and Supervisors were supposed to get k6,000 per month but only received k4,200 per month because the Ministry of Health was withholding 30 percent of the monies on the pretext that they would pay the balances at the end of the programme.
However six months after the completion of the programme no one has been paid and the officers are wondering as to who is keeping their money.
‘We were told that we would be paid our balances at the end of the programme, in fact others took 8 months to finish but the Ministry of Health is telling us that they released all the money to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) while the CSO is also telling us that the money is being withheld by the Ministry of Health,we don’t know who is keeping our money and in whose account,’ complained a frustrated health worker.
Another affected health worker who was deployed on the Copperbelt claimed that one of their supervises has even built a house using their money.
The affected health workers complained that the matter was brought to the attention of their union and the Anti-Corruption Commission but wondered why no action has been taken.
They stressed that the Patriotic Front government has continued to suppress health workers but warned that time will soon come when they will heat back.
‘They have continued suppressing us but we will soon speak during elections because as health workers we can’t speak out due to ill treatment but we will speak through our votes,’ warned some of the affected workers.
According to the Ministry of Health over K48,000 was budgeted for the programme and the Ministry of health supplied the Nurses, Lab Technicians and Consultants who participated in the survey.Over 300 officers took part in the exercise.