By Joel Ngo
A feud over Covid-19 financial donations between Disaster Management Coordinator Chanda Kabwe and Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya is getting personal and nasty.
The Watchdog understands that minister Chilufya phoned Chanda Kabwe on Friday last week to tell him that the Covid-19 pandemic has nothing to do with disaster management for him (Kabwe) to be going round Asian owned business houses seeking financial donation.
A source familiar with the bitter phone exchange said Covid-19 was a health emergency and had nothing to do with floods which the DMMU is better placed to deal with.
When Chanda Kabwe asked Chilufya what he understood by the term multi-sectoral approach to the Covid-19 fight, Chitalu went ballistic whilst accusing Kabwe of insolence.
” Ba Kabwe now that is being petty and insolent. You can’t begin asking me about technologies when you have been going round asking business houses to donate direct to DMMU and not my Ministry. This issue at hand has nothing to with floods. It’s more complicated than that,” Chitalu is said to have told Kabwe, a source privy to the phone call said.
Kabwe said he still doesn’t not understand why Chitalu gets apprehensive each time DMMU received cash donations.
Kabwe says the K200,000 cash donation from Savenda Management Services on April 2, 2020 angered Chitalu more. He wonders why Chitalu continues to be more concerned about cash donations being received by DMMU when the Minister of Finance had already given guidance on how such donations were to be administered.
Kabwe has brought this to the attention of both Vice President Inonge Wina and President Edgar Lungu. Kabwe says Chitalu should instead exert his energies on dealing with allegations of receiving kick backs of over priced rickety ambulances purchased by the Ministry of Health through his influence.
In the recent past, there have been assertions that Chitalu has been using Covid-19 cash donations to prop up his presidential ambitions.
This is not the first time he has differed with a govt colleague over Covid-19 funds.
Early this month during a meeting in the Vice President’s office, Finance Minister Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu called Chitalu childish for objecting to audits of all monies donated to the Ministry of Health.
A bitter exchange of words ensued and it had to take Wina to clam down tempers