Staff from Zomba District Health Office (DHO) on Monday closed offices for the senior officers demanding their immediate removal.
The management team include the Principal Health Service Administrator (PHA) John Kachoka, Human Resource Officer Witney Phiri and District Nursing Officer Alinafe Mangulenje.
The protesting staff said they were doing that in order for the new DHO Gift Chinomba be allowed to execute his duties effectively arguing the three were practising what they described as pull-him-down-syndrome to fulfil their interests.
At exactly 7:30am the offices were closed and nobody was allowed to enter.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary for Health and copied to the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, and the Zomba District Commissioner, among others, the staff alleges the use of government fuel for private vehicles by Kachoka, refusal to provide transport for staff’s relative funeral, registration of two maternal deaths at Domasi Rural Hospital because of non-availability of an ambulance whose service date was overdue.
“The human resource officer [Witney Phiri] uses the ambulance to ferry his children to school. The Zomba DHO owes suppliers huge amounts of money because the principal health officer [John Kachoka] do not authorise the payments.
“With some of these points, we thought it is high time these officers are no longer accepted to work at Zomba DHO. If the Ministry of Health wants people to access equitable health services, these senior officers should be transferred elsewhere,” reads the letter in part.
However, Kachoka said in an interview, he is yet to receive the letter whereas Witney Phiri and Alinafe Mangulenje refused to comment on the allegations.
The protesting staff further warned that should the Ministry of Health fail to take urgent action on the matter, the strike will be extended to all health facilities under Zomba DHO.