FORUM for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader Edith Nawakwi has charged that President Rupiah Banda is running around like a headless chicken without direction while health institutions like UTH and clinics are in a deplorable state.
In an interview, Nawakwi said the government had reduced people to animals because it was not providing essential services like good health and conducive learning environments for people.
“I am challenging Rupiah Banda. If he has any common sense, we should meet at the Filter Clinic at UTH tomorrow. I want to talk to him at UTH Filter Clinic where people are sitting on the floor as if we are at war,” said Nawakwi who visited the Filter Clinic at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and some township clinics in Lusaka.
“What is wrong with this government? Are they normal or, that is why I say, ‘ni ofuntha they are mad?’. He Rupiah is running around like a headless chicken, telling people that he is working. Can he show us his work at UTH Filter Clinic tomorrow where people are dying every minute and this President cannot have the sense of direction to direct his energy in the right place.
“You go there, they say the lab is closed. Which main hospital on earth can close a laboratory on the weekend and people are dying? Every minute when you are standing at that UTH of his, someone is dying. I spent two days at UTH.
Anyway, this is the problem when you have these retired politicians, when you go and get them from the archives and say, ‘now you are going to be the head of state’. They are retired and tired; they can’t think of fresh ideas. There are no fresh ideas that you can get from Rupiah Banda.”
Nawakwi said other than the UTH, the situation at various clinics in Lusaka was bad and required government attention.
“Let him go to Chipata clinic where pregnant women are being told, ‘when you come to deliver come with your bucket’ because there is no incinerator there. After you deliver they tell you, ‘madam, thank you very much, you are carrying your baby plus whatever we needed to dispose and the placenta, go and throw it wherever you are going’,” Nawakwi said. Now, in Chipata compound, the place is flooded and there are no toilets. So where is this woman going to throw the placenta and other wastes?
Look, this government has reduced people to animals. I want Bwezani to go to Chipata clinic with me and when we come back from Chipata clinic, I want him to tell me that he is working. If he thinks he is the head of state, he has to go and see the situation for himself. If he is not going to the clinics we will flash a red card against him.
I am going to tell everybody at Chipata clinic that ‘Rupiah Banda red card!’ Can you imagine you have delivered; you are not well and you are told, ‘carry your baby and the bucket full of waste’. Where do you incinerate in Chipata compound? And you have a President who says, ‘I am working’. Let him come to Chipata clinic maternity ward and let him show me his works in Chipata compound.”
Nawakwi said instead of travelling abroad, President Banda should spend two weeks in Zambia and tour health institutions to ascertain the situation.
“I am not saying, ‘let’s go to Nakonde where there is no doctor’. I am not saying, ‘let’s go to Mongu or Chisamba. I am just saying, ‘just two weeks touring clinics in Chipata compound and other compounds in Lusaka’,” Nawakwi said. “Instead of the clinic incinerating the waste, the personnel can’t do that because they don’t have an incinerator.
Instead of him spending so much money on a mobile clinic, he can use the money to buy incinerators for clinics so that women can stop going there with buckets.”
Nawakwi also said the hostels at the University of Zambia (UNZA) were pathetic and required the government to improve the situation for the students’ wellbeing.
Nawakwi warned that the people that were suffering would rise.
“And when they rise, it is red cards all over,” said Nawakwi.
THE POST NEWSPAPER