How Minister Chilufya stole $5m and lied to Parliament

How Minister Chilufya stole $5m and lied to Parliament

 

On 11 November 2017, minister of health Chitalu Chilufya issued an official statement in parliament in which he said that the ministry and a local company called Savenda had signed a contract to supply 50 ambulances at a cost of US$11.5 million.

Minister Chilufya said this after an MP queried him on why he was about to purchase 50 ambulances at an exorbitant price of $288, 000 each.

Minister Chilufya justified the price saying these will be ‘fifty purpose-built Mercedes Benz high-roofed ambulances mounted with modernised emergency and mobile medical equipment at the unit price of US$143,110, bringing the total price to US$7,155,500; plus five years service and provision of service parts for ambulances, inclusive of both mobile platform and the medical equipment at US$3,649,305; and training of twenty mechanics, fifty drivers and 100 medical staff at a cost of US$715,550.

He emphasised in Parliament that:

‘Sir, the procurement process may not be halted at this stage, as the contract was entered into in 2015 and the Government has made payments towards this procurement. An initial 10 per cent was made in 2015 and was followed by a further 15 per cent of the cost in 2016. Subsequent payments will be made as resources are made available.’

BUT MINISTER CHILUFYA WAS LYING TO PARLIAMENT

Even as he was reading this statement in Parliament, he knew very well that this contract to supply purpose built Benz ambulances by Savenda had been shelved by himself and his girlfriend Mulalelo Kakulubelwa (Kaku) who was at this time time director of Infrastructure at the same ministry. She is now the permanent Secretary.

Instead of paying for these ambulances which were approved by the security, ZPPA and technocrats, Minister Chilufya and Kaku approached and illegally paid Iveco South Africa to supply 50 ambulances. We understand that on paper, Iveco was paid this $11.5 million but supplied poor quality ambulances whose actual unit value is less that $30, 000. The balance, more than $5 million was shared by minister Chilufya, his love Kaku and named official at Iveco. But to parliament, the ministry and people of Zambia, Chilufya maintained the lie that he procured purpose-built Benz ambulances.

We challenge minister Chilufya to produce receipts of the payments he made to purchase purpose built vehicles. Lying to Parliament is a criminal offence.

Minister Chilufya should tell the country who approved the Iveco ambulances since he told Parliament that the suppler of Benz Ambulances won the competitive tender and it could not be reversed? What happened to the contract to supply Benz ambulances since, as he told Parliament, 25 per cent was already paid to the supplier of the Benz ambulances. Won’t the supplier of Benz ambulances who won the international, competitive tender seek compensation for breach of contract?

We are also aware that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and other law enforcement agencies carried out a full investigation on this and investigators recommended for Chilufya and Kaku’s arrest. But Minister Chilufya has so far managed to keep the ACC from arresting him.

We know what is contained in that investigatory report and we are just waiting for our colleagues at ACC to do their work as a mark of respect. But once we see that they are sitting on the report, we will publish it right here.

Ministry sources tell us that it’s just a matter of time before this financial scandal explodes and they fear that they will be sacrificed, others tell us that they are ready to testify.

See below what he said in Parliament on 14 November 2017

http://www.parliament.gov.zm/node/7338
QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER

PROCUREMENT OF FIFTY AMBULANCES AT US$288,000 EACH

82. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo) asked the Minister of Health:

why the Government was about to procure fifty ambulances at an exorbitant price of US$288,000 each;

whether the Government was aware that the same type of ambulances can be procured from Toyota Zambia at a total cost of US$74,000 each; and

if so, whether the procurement process would be halted to save taxpayers’ money.

The Minister of Heath (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the Government is not about to procure fifty ambulances at an exorbitant price of US$288,000 each. The House may wish to note that in September, 2015, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, entered into a contract with Savenda Limited to supply and deliver purpose-built ambulances for mobile and emergency health services, train health workers and support maintenance for the ambulances. These services were targeted at maternity, sudden non-communicable disease events, such as cardiac and trauma, arising from road traffic accidents and other sudden catastrophic medical and surgical conditions. The total cost is US$11,520,355, broken down as follows:

supply and delivery of fifty purpose-built Mercedes Benz high-roofed ambulances mounted with modernised emergency and mobile medical equipment at the unit price of US$143,110, bringing the total price to US$7,155,500;

five years service and provision of service parts for ambulances, inclusive of both mobile platform and the medical equipment at US$3,649,305; and

training of twenty mechanics, fifty drivers and 100 medical staff at a cost of US$715,550.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note further that in March, 2015, an open international competitive tender was floated, which attracted thirteen responses. The due process was followed after the bids were opened, including the Ministry of Health institutional ministerial procurement committee approvals, due diligence and technical and financial evaluations. Upon completion of the due process, the submission was made, as prescribed by law, to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) for approval. After this lengthy due process, Savenda Limited was awarded the contract to supply the total package at a cost of US$11,520,355. It is important to mention that Toyota Zambia did not participate in this tender.

Mr Speaker, as I stated earlier, this was an international competitive tender with very clear specifications in which thirteen companies participated, of which Toyota Zambia was not one of them. The Government is not aware that the same ambulances, including other services which were included in the specifications, are available at Toyota Zambia at that quoted price of US$74,000.

Sir, the procurement process may not be halted at this stage, as the contract was entered into in 2015 and the Government has made payments towards this procurement. An initial 10 per cent was made in 2015 and was followed by a further 15 per cent of the cost in 2016. Subsequent payments will be made as resources are made available.

In the meantime, preparation and the various conversions required on the units have commenced, and they are all still overseas. At an appropriate time, the Government will send a technical team to perform pre-shipment inspection to assure value for money of the final product.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health remains committed to providing effective and high quality health services and looks forward to improving its mobile and emergency health services to the

I thank you, Sir

QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER

PROCUREMENT OF FIFTY AMBULANCES AT US$288,000 EACH

82. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo) asked the Minister of Health:

why the Government was about to procure fifty ambulances at an exorbitant price of US$288,000 each;

whether the Government was aware that the same type of ambulances can be procured from Toyota Zambia at a total cost of US$74,000 each; and

if so, whether the procurement process would be halted to save taxpayers’ money.

The Minister of Heath (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the Government is not about to procure fifty ambulances at an exorbitant price of US$288,000 each. The House may wish to note that in September, 2015, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, entered into a contract with Savenda Limited to supply and deliver purpose-built ambulances for mobile and emergency health services, train health workers and support maintenance for the ambulances. These services were targeted at maternity, sudden non-communicable disease events, such as cardiac and trauma, arising from road traffic accidents and other sudden catastrophic medical and surgical conditions. The total cost is US$11,520,355, broken down as follows:

supply and delivery of fifty purpose-built Mercedes Benz high-roofed ambulances mounted with modernised emergency and mobile medical equipment at the unit price of US$143,110, bringing the total price to US$7,155,500;

five years service and provision of service parts for ambulances, inclusive of both mobile platform and the medical equipment at US$3,649,305; and

training of twenty mechanics, fifty drivers and 100 medical staff at a cost of US$715,550.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note further that in March, 2015, an open international competitive tender was floated, which attracted thirteen responses. The due process was followed after the bids were opened, including the Ministry of Health institutional ministerial procurement committee approvals, due diligence and technical and financial evaluations. Upon completion of the due process, the submission was made, as prescribed by law, to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) for approval. After this lengthy due process, Savenda Limited was awarded the contract to supply the total package at a cost of US$11,520,355. It is important to mention that Toyota Zambia did not participate in this tender.

Mr Speaker, as I stated earlier, this was an international competitive tender with very clear specifications in which thirteen companies participated, of which Toyota Zambia was not one of them. The Government is not aware that the same ambulances, including other services which were included in the specifications, are available at Toyota Zambia at that quoted price of US$74,000.

Sir, the procurement process may not be halted at this stage, as the contract was entered into in 2015 and the Government has made payments towards this procurement. An initial 10 per cent was made in 2015 and was followed by a further 15 per cent of the cost in 2016. Subsequent payments will be made as resources are made available.

In the meantime, preparation and the various conversions required on the units have commenced, and they are all still overseas. At an appropriate time, the Government will send a technical team to perform pre-shipment inspection to assure value for money of the final product.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health remains committed to providing effective and high quality health services and looks forward to improving its mobile and emergency health services to the

I thank you, Sir.

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