Malawi female MPs issue ultimatum on ‘stealing’ of beds: State House explains

Women Parliamentary Caucus members  have strongly demanded Minister of Health Khumbo Kachali, who is also the country’s Vice-President, to return back the  hospital beds from Mponela Hospital where they were snatched to be given to Mzimba for political campaign purposes.

Chairperson of the female lawmakers Cecilia Chazama said the beds should be returned to the establishment “within 24 hours”.

Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Juliana Mphande said over 20 female MPs will not accept anything less than returning the beds which were reportedly snatched at night.

The beds were donated by member of the area, Dr Jean Kalirani.

Kalirani: Donated the bed

Meanwhile, presidential Press Secretary Steven Nhlane on writing on Namisa forum for explained that there were 41 beds at Dowa Hospital which were not being used, 21 in the warehouse/storeroom.

“The other 20 were being kept in a ward because the storeroom could not take more than 21 since it houses other equipment there.

“As I am writing this, there are 21 beds in the storeroom at Dowa Hospital which are not being used.”

Nhlane pointed out that the movement of hospital equipment and drugs from one hospital to another is “policy” and has been ongoing in the Ministry of Health.

“Not too long ago, the Ministry moved a generator from Mchinji District Hospital to Dedza District Hospital. That was normal. People of Mchinji did not cry wolf for moving the generator to another district to serve Malawians elsewhere,” he said.

Nlhane added that “drugs are being moved around almost every day.  No big deal. But the issue of the beds is being blown out of proportion and twisted to fit a political agenda.”

The presidential press secretary, a former editor of Times Group urged the media houses to go to Dowa district hospital and get the information on the ground.

“Get pictures and footage of the beds that lie idle in the hospital’s warehouse/storeroom.”

Like what Vice President Kachali’s spokesman Kondwani Munthali argued, that the matter is being politicised by opposition DPP members, Nhlane also said female MPs were “politicizing” the matter with Patricia Kaliati of DPP being vocal on the matter.

“By the way, why did Kalirani oversupply Dowa Hospital with beds when there were other hospitals which did not have anything? At the end of the day, this is a fight between Halima Daudi (Deputy Health minister from Dowa) and Jean Kalirani (former health minister also from the same district),” wrote Nhlane.

Daudi on the other hand said it has always been the practice of her ministry to share resources among hospitals.

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