Lubinda questions Rupiah's priorities
|A woman receives
medication at a mobile dispensary opened by President Banda ó Early April
Zambians should request President Rupiah Banda to integrate his mindset
and start focusing on the right priorities, says Given Lubinda.
interview, Lubinda, who is Kabwata PF member of parliament, questioned President
Banda's misplaced priorities such as the purchase of nine mobile hospitals which would only
operate in a given area for 13 days every month.
recently said each mobile unit would operate at a cost of K2.4
He said if the K2.4 billion was required on a monthly basis, it
meant that the country would require close to K30 billion for each mobile unit
"And yet these units are only going to function for 156 days
per year. And at 156 days costing K30 billion is obviously far too extravagant
for a poor country like Zambia," said Lubinda on Thursday.
"Yes, we agree
that we can't put a price to life. However, there is evidence across the whole
globe that there are other efficient and reasonable ways, more effective ways of
providing health facilities such as constructing physical structures such as the
Chainama Hospital, Lusaka District Hospital that is going to cost a third of the
running cost of a mobile unit."
Lubinda said many health facilities could
be constructed across the country just from the operating cost of one mobile
"And those would be available to people not only for 156 but
360 days. And the physical structures would also allow for the employment of
more personnel unlike the mobile hospitals where only a few are catered for.
This programme of Mr Rupiah Banda is a complete scandal," Lubinda said. "And you
know when people involve themselves in programmes that cannot be sustainable you
question their level of thinking and you wonder whether a person who is serious
about developing the country would engage in such wasteful
Lubinda said President Banda was self-conceited and usually
became angry when advised to handle national matters in the right
"I think we ought to start requesting Mr Banda to integrate his
mindset. Is his mind focused on right things? Psychologists and psychiatric
doctors will attest to the fact that some people have a psychiatric problem such
as mania," he said.
Lubinda said some people in rural areas were shown
celebrating at the sight of mobile units as if the provision of health services
were not their right.
However, he said the Mbala residents who were
recently shown on the state-owned and government-controlled Zambia National
Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) dancing, were not impressed with the mobile
hospitals but merely practicing "don't kubeba".
"The fact that
they were shown dancing shows people who went there were not sick because sick
people don't dance," said Lubinda.
Recently, Parliament heard that the
mobile hospitals would only move for 13 days each month.
Kapembwa Simbao said according to the budget estimates for the given period,
each province would require about K2.4 billion for the successful use of the
procured mobile hospital units.
Simbao said the budget for the use of
mobile units for the period April to December 2011 was based on thirteen days
only in any month.
"It ought to be considered that the remaining days
shall be reserved for the servicing of the units. The budget estimates for the
given period is that each province shall require about K2.4 billion for the
successful use of the procured units," Simbao said.
Simbao said an
"estimated 8.7 million Zambians" were "expected to benefit" from health services
offered through mobile clinics.