THE Ministry of Health has confirmed that five of its senior members of staff who include two directors have been sent on forced leave in connection with the recruitment of the 11,200 health workers.
Health Permanent Secretary for administration George Magwende confirmed this evening that the five have been sent on one-month forced leave to allow for investigations in the matter.
The five include director – human resource, Fredrick Mwila and his assistant, Dennis Siamphwisi.
Others are director- planning, Henry Kasembe, chief human resource administrator, Ireen Bwalya, and senior human resource officer, James Makasa.
Dr Magwende has told TIMES OF ZAMBIA in an interview that the officers were asked to stay away from work for a month which may be prolonged or shortened, depending on the outcome of the investigations.
He explained that that in the work running to the much-anticipated recruitment of the 11,200 health workers, it was discovered that there was a huge discrepancies between the actual information on the ground
and what was on paper.
“We want to verify because in our work running to the recruitment
there was huge discrepancy between what we had and the actual…there were discrepancies in the number of facilities, for example…
“The discrepancies… were quite alarming so it is important for us to check the authenticity of the data that we have and what is on the ground because these are numbers we base on when we are planning and funding,” Dr Magwende said.
He said disciplinary action would be taken against the officers should investigations prove that there were deliberate commissions of the errors.
Dr Magwende said the resources in the country were scarce and the ministry could not afford dropping a ngwee because every Zambian was expecting that ngwee to be used prudently.
He said the ministry was being cautious in the utlisation of public resources by acting swiftly whenever they suspected something fishy.