Malawi’s Ministry of Health headed by Vice President Khumbo Kachali on Thursday succumbed to public pressure and announced that the ministry will return the beds it snatched from Mponela rural hospital.

A statement issued hours after the Vice President visited the hospital on Thursday indicated that the 13 beds would be returned this weekend.

The statement, signed by Principal Secretary Dr. Charles Mwansambo, says apart from the beds, government will also provide mattresses.

According to the statement, the country’s Vice President, who doubles as the Minister of Health, noted with concern during the visit that despite having beds, most of the beds had no mattresses.

“The Ministry of Health will therefore not only replace the beds, but also provide mattresses to all the beds at Mponela Rural Hospital including those in the male, female and Children’s wards.”

The statement however goes on to try to justify the snatching of the beds from the hospital to Euthini and Edingeni health centers where parliamentary by-elections are taking place on October 9 including in Mzimba Siuth West, a constituency formerly held by the Vice President.

“The Ministry of Health wishes to bring to the attention of the general public and all stakeholders that it is currently engaged in rationalization of resources in the health sector that they should benefit all Malawians,” reads the statement adding;

“As such in the case of the Mponela Rural Hospital, the request to redeploy some beds from the hospital to where they were needed was a temporary measure as they had surplus beds without mattresses.”

ZBS first broke the bed-gate scandal on Sunday exposing how at midnight on Saturday officials from the ministry of health snatched the beds from the hospital taking off sick children from the beds and bundling them on the floor in the process.

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