Power and Politics

Trade Union Congress seeks probe of Auditor-General’s report on health insurance authority


The Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) has called on security agencies to take interest in the reported payment of claims by the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) in the latest Auditor Generals report.

ZCTU president, Blake Mulala, said workers were interested in the matter because it has been alleged that the claims by NHIMA were unjustified.

Addressing Journalists at the end-of-year media briefing in Lusaka on Friday, Mulala stated that workers were ready to report corruption that short-changed citizens.

He noted that corruption was a big problem in the country and that workers wanted to stand with the government in the fight against all forms of the scourge.

“While the government has made efforts to prosecute corruption cases, graft remains a huge drain on our economy,” Mulala said.

He called on Zambians to join in the fight against corruption, further warning members to stay away from corruption because the trade union movement would not stand with them once they are caught.

The ZCTU president further stated that the country had seen politicians who within a short time of taking up political jobs became very rich within a few years of working.

“Where are they getting the money which they never had before they became policiticians? Let them prove to Zambians that when they become politicians, the also become clean businessmen and women,” Mulala advised.

He also encouraged the authorities to continue prosecuting perpetrators without fear or favour.

Mulala stated that the trade union movement was happy that government had finally signed the Access to Information Bill into law and hoped that it would help in the fight against corruption.

Reacting to the Auditor-General’s report, the union president said that contrary to the provision, an analysis of payments processed during the period under review revealed that 53, 332 claims amounting to K21, 478, 482 were processed by NHIMA in respect to 10, 637 members who did not make contributions.

About 3, 062 transactions with a total claim value of K915, 919 were processed beyond what was deemed reasonable and as of September 30, 2023, the data base had not been updated to reflect the correct age.

According to the report, during the period under review, Sylkay Pharmacy of South Gate Mall, a NHIMA accredited facility was paid claims in amounts totalling K39, 551, 793.

Included in the funds were claims with respect to the Pharmacy, a facility which was not accredited with NHIMA but whose claims were presented to the authority purporting that the claims were from the Pharmacy.

Meanwhile, the ZCTU leader stated that a stable political environment was vital for economic recovery.

“The relative calm political environment in 2023 allowed some economic reforms to take root,” he noted.

Read More: ‘Shut up!’ MMD leader says ex-President Lungu has no moral right to speak on corruption, democracy (video)

Mulala acknowledged though that the country exprienced some level of confusion among political institutions which was not good for all Zambians

He called on all political players to put their houses in good standing with the law for the good of all.

“We further want to urge all political players to continue prioritizing national interest over partisan politics. Dialogue, tolerance and compromise are key for a strong and formidable political system of the country,” Mulala advised.

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