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Mchinji DHO staff stage demonstration

Workers at Mchinji District Health Office (DHO) on Tuesday marched to the District Commissioner’s (DC’s) office to present a petition regarding woes dodging the facility.

Among others, the disgruntled workers are concerned with lack of a generator at the district hospital as well as fuel transaction delays.

“Emergencies have not been handled on time and lives have been lost in the past five days. [There is also] lack of commitment to clear offer balances for April – June 2015. [On] UNFPA funding, the donor is about to withdraw their intended support. This is despite several negotiation efforts by the district health office and UNFPA to have the balance settled,” reads part of the petition signed by the staff.

However, a response from the DC’s office on the issues has faulted the workers, arguing that they were misinformed.

“It was noted that there was misinformation about K2.8 million for UNFPA funds due to lack of communication on its repayment by the council. It was also noted that of K3.2 million which was being complained about in the petition, K400, 000 was used by the DHO and the DHO has already justified [this]. The council finished paying the amount of K2, 800,000. Therefore, there is no issue,” reads the response in part.

In an interview, the DC for the district, Richard Hara, also dismissed claims that his office does not assist the health sector to purchase fuel in time.

Said Hara: “The council assists the health sector to purchase fuel and at times, even when they had no funds in their account by asking the filling station owners to give fuel on loan.”

Hara also explained that claims that K17 million for June DHO ORT [Other Recurrent Transactions] funding was not used in full is incorrect.

According to him, the Director of Finance said that the DHO’s office had actually over spent by over K19 million by the end of the year, taking into account accumulation of expenditure over the year.

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