By MUKOSELA KASALWE and SILUMESI MALUMO

GOVERNMENT has rubbished UPND leader, Hakainde Hichilema’s claims that public hospitals and clinics have not been received funding for almost a year.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Abel Kabalo said that the claims were false.

Dr Kabalo said if that were the case, government hospitals and clinics would have been non-operational.

In an interview yesterday, Dr Kabalo said the Ministry of Health would in due course issue a comprehensive statement on the matter.

Mr Hichilema reportedly said that he had been receiving disturbing reports from across the country on the lack of funding in government hospitals and clinics for almost one year now.

“It is not correct that Government hospitals and clinics have gone without funding for almost a year that’s a wrong statement,” Dr Kabalo said.

Mr Hichilema claimed the situation had compounded the lack of even basic drugs in the health facilities.

The opposition leader allegedly said it was unfortunate that senior government officials have kept abandoning local healthcare system in preference for expensive medical treatment outside the country.

And the Millers Associations of Zambia (MAZ) advised Mr Hichilema to stop issuing unsubstantiated statements regarding the food security in the country.

This follows a statement by Mr Hichilema that the government should rescind its decision on lifting the mealie meal export ban because the country might experience hunger due to the continued dry spell.

“It is only logical for the PF leadership to rescind their decision of exporting maize and mealie meal until such a time when we will be certain that our people have and will have enough food to even export the surplus.

This is why we say for us it’s; Zambia and Zambian first,” Mr Hichilema said.

MAZ president Andrew Chintala however said that the claims by Mr Hichilema were unjustifiable because the country was food secure and it would record bumper harvest during the 2018/2019 harvest.

Mr Chintala said the opposition leader must not claim that the country might experience hunger when it was food secure.

He also reminded Mr Hichilema that the mealie meal which would be exported from the country would come from the private players and not from Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

Mr Chintala said the

700 ,000 metric tonnes which was under the custody of FRA was meant for the country’s food security.

He said that it was important for the political leaders to consult before issuing unsubstantial statements regarding the food security.

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