Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya and State House spokesperson Isaac Chipampe have directed government controlled media to ignore and disregard president Edgar Lungu’ statement on the death of a medical student who died while carrying Covid 19 samples on a public bus.
When Ian Mutambo died, President Lungu issued a statement on his personal Facebook regretting the negligent death and condemning the ministry of health for endangering the life of the student and members of the public at large.
This being a statement from the president, one would have expected the state controlled media to jump on it as they often and religiously do; but not this one. All government media, including Smart Eagles Facebook controlled by Isaac Chipampe and Chilufya’s girlfriend largely ignored it.
The Watchdog has always said that most state house officials are on the payroll of Minister Chitalu Chilufya.
We are reliably informed that Chipampe personally phoned news editors of government media to ignore the statement from Lungu but only publish updates by minister Chilufya.
The statement by Lungu therefore looked like false news.
See the statement below:
I am heart broken that a dedicated health worker and biomedical student Ian Mutambo, aged 24 lost his life as he travelled on the Power Tools bus from Kabompo that plunged into the Kabompo River on 2nd May 2020.
This is contrary to my Government’s commitment to do more for the health workers as they remain at the frontline of fighting this deadly disease.
It is unfortunate that a health worker on such a crucial assignment could be subjected to public transport. I am instructing the Minister of Health to work with the investigative wings to understand how this unfortunate incident occurred.
I urge the ministry, provincial and district health offices to immediately ensure all the necessary logistics are in place to avoid such risks in the fight against COVID-19. While I understand the urgency of getting suspected COVID samples to labs, this risk must never be taken again.
My heart is broken. I join the Mutambo family in mourning this untimely and painful death.
May the soul of Ian Mutambo rest in eternal Peace.