Zambia: Government to use recovered corruption money for maternity wards

Times of Zambia via WUNRN
The Zambia Government will use the K13.6 billion the Task Force on Corruption has earned from the sale of seized properties to build maternity wards at various health centers countrywide.
Chief Government Spokesman Mike Mulongoti , made a statement in Lusaka last week, according to the May 9, 2008, Times of Zambia newspaper.
And Health Minister Brian Chituwo told the Zambia National Broadcasting Television (ZNBC) that, Zambia had the highest number of mortality rates in the region and that the monies that were plundered deserved to that sector as mother and children were dying at alarming rate.

“Zambia has the highest mortality rate, if it is not the mother dying during child birth, it is the child that dies because of lack of proper care” he said.

Mr. Mulongoti said that government would use the money to construct new maternity wings to improve the health status of women and children.

Mr. Mulongoti who is also Information Minister said the decision was made during a cabinet meeting on Monday May 5.

He explained that the K13.6 billion comprised US$1,473,732.88 and K7, 762,381,878.1 earned through an earlier sale of seized properties. The total amount of money projected to be raised from the sale of recovered properties would be in excess of K200 billion. He said that the properties included motor vehicles, industrial and agriculture equipment, warehouse and residential properties in various towns throughout Zambia. Out of the K116 billion cumulative total assets and cash traced as at October 1, 2007, K20 billion worth of properties had not yet been disposed off. About 30 apartment buildings in Belgium valued at $8million were some of the items recovered as a result of growing international cooperation in asset recovery and investigation.

As at last year, K85 billion worth of assets were surrendered to the state for disposal. The K116 billion worth of assets recovered had allegedly been plundered, stolen or unlawfully obtained between 1991 and 2001.

By Sally Chiwama

Source: Times of Zambia