Minister’s arm treatment costs over K25 000 abroad as he ‘cuts’ debate on the matter.
By Staff Reporter
TRANSPORT minister Brian Mushimba’s announced discharge from South African ARWYP Medical Centre this week, has sparked wild debate and condemnation from his social media followers after learning that his admission cost K25,000 prompting him to block certain commentators on his Twitter account.
His reaction has however, spiraled an avalanche of further admonishment for his lack of humility in acknowledging his extravagance with some suggesting that his hand ligament injury could have been treated in Zambia to save tax payers money.
Activists Laura Mitti says it is ironic that “the Minister responsible for communication is blocking people in numbers on Twitter because they have asked questions on a public matter, that is connected to him,” she states “That is clearly a Minister who believes that citizens should be prevented from broaching subjects that are uncomfortable to government and power holders. He believes in gagging”.
She said “Minister Mushimba is trying to win the 2019 Blockers Award, it is because ZedTwitter keeps asking him to explain why it is ok to evacuate him to South Africa for an arm injury at great cost to the tax payer”.
And civil rights activist Chama Fumba populary known as “Pilato” addressed the “world” on Twitter saying, “hey world, this is a cabinet minister in Zambia who broke his arm and rushed to South Africa for treatment. His government runs hospitals in the country but he couldn’t go to any because they are below his standards. His arm deserves better treatment than people in local hospitals”.
But perhaps the dramatic climax of the story comes when Historian and Political Commentator Sishuwa Sishuwa, and other Twitter users complained of being blocked by the minister when they asked whether he was using tax payers’ money for medical expenses.
Sishuwa tweets that “Last week I agreed with Zambia’s communication and Transport Minister Brian Mushimba’s tweet on the need to support ZAMTEL. He heaped praise on me. Today I asked him if his medical treatment in SA was funded by tax payers, noting that we need to improve our own health care, he BLOCKED me”.
And Cleopas Sambo tweets that “You brought your ‘medical condition’ onto a public forum and now say we shouldn’t debate it for lack of information. Are you serious? We mend our limbs in public care but you fly out to SA for yours. When we ask why, you scream ‘lack of humanity.’ How is the irony lost on you!” he asks.
Meanwhile Media reports have revealed that the South African hospital where Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba was admitted for a month charges an estimated R30,000 for admission alone.
Reports say according to well-placed sources at ARWYP Medical Center, the estimated deposit which amounts to over K25 thousand does not include doctors’ fees and other costs such as blood tests or X-ray.
Mr. Mushimba was evacuated to South Africa after fracturing his right arm following a road accident.
When he was discharged, Mr. Mushimba took to social media to thank Zambians for their prayers while he was in South Africa but this appeared to back fire as “Zambians” condemned him for being extravagant and insensitive to tax payers.
The minister was involved in an accident some weeks ago when his official vehicle flipped on Thabo Mbeki road as he was driving home past midnight and was evacuated to South Africa for treatment. Mr. Mushimba had sustained injuries to his right forearm affecting significant soft tissue.