Zambia president summarily fires health minister

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

Zambia's presidency on Sunday announced the sacking of the country's health minister, arrested for alleged graft last year but cleared of charges.

Chitalu Chilufya, 48, was held in June following accusations he used ill-gotten gains to acquire property.

A court cleared him of the charges in August due to lack of evidence and he resumed his duties.

But President Edgar Lungu unexpectedly fired the minister on Sunday without giving any reason.

"President Lungu has terminated the appointment of Chitalu Chilufya as health minister with immediate effect," presidential spokesman Isaac Chipampe said in a statement.

Chilufya's sacking comes days after parliament quizzed officials over irregularities cited in an audit of financial statements released last year.

WATCH | Zambian President Edgar Lungu orders reshuffle of police brass after two protesters killed

The reports allege the health ministry misused $17 million of public money meant to fund rubber gloves, condoms and medical kits.

Several opposition party leaders and civil society groups had since been calling on the president to remove him from office.

Chilufya has not yet responded to the accusations.

The minister is considered a potential candidate for presidential elections in August this year if Lungu is barred from running.

The president insists he will stand for a third term despite repeatedly failing to amend the southern African country's constitution in order to do.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
How has the delay in schools' opening impacted your life?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
It's a disaster! We're struggling to manage work and kids at home
39% - 670 votes
It's a struggle, but we learnt lessons from last year's closures
20% - 339 votes
It's a relief, this second wave is bad and kids need to be at home
41% - 702 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.13
(-0.14)
ZAR/GBP
20.70
(-0.11)
ZAR/EUR
18.42
(-0.11)
ZAR/AUD
11.67
(-0.11)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.86)
Gold
1855.20
(+0.05)
Silver
25.47
(+0.10)
Platinum
1100.00
(+0.44)
Brent Crude
54.81
(-1.30)
Palladium
2352.23
(+0.52)
All Share
63987.92
(-0.29)
Top 40
58886.26
(-0.14)
Financial 15
11685.83
(-2.13)
Industrial 25
86576.24
(+1.21)
Resource 10
62699.98
(-1.34)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo