Govt transfers senior staff from Mnene Hospital
THE Government has transferred senior officials at Mnene Mission Hospital in Mberengwa to bring sanity to the scandalridden health institution.
They include the Medical Superintendent Dr Nyasha Makura and the District Medical Officer Dr Pascal Nyachowe.
Apart from being prejudiced of about $400 000 by three senior officials after they allegedly defrauded the institution by flouting tenders and inflating prices, there are reports that 700 bags of cement have gone to waste and 500 bicycles for community health officers have broken down while dumped at the institution without being distributed to the beneficiaries because of alleged incompetence by management.
The mission hospital, the biggest referral hospital in the district servicing 35 clinics and four rural hospitals, received about $700 000 from the Government in 2011 under the targeted approach programme, a special fund crafted to revive the health sector.
The institution run by Evangelical Lutheran Church allegedly failed to account for all of the money after flouting tender regulations, as well as inflating prices of some of the equipment procured under the programme.
The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, said the Government was transferring all top officials to other hospitals in Midlands Province.
He emphasised that the affected doctors, senior nurses and those in accounting were not being fired but were merely being transferred to pave way for people who would bring back sanity to the district.
“There have been problems at Mnene Mission Hospital, well documented problems and after my visit early this year, I set up a fivemember investigation team to look into the problems bedevilling the health institution. They came up with recommendations of which one of them was to transfer the senior staff to other health institutions in the Midlands province, a recommendation which are implementing now,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
He said the transfer of the senior staff members was going on as his Ministry was looking for capable people to fill the gap created.
At the end of the day, the Minister said, the Mberengwa health situation should be strengthened.
Three people who were accused of flouting tenders at the hospital, Ziboniso Moyo, Mnene Hospital administrator, and Health and Child Care Ministry employees Richard Dharara and Wilbert Madenga were acquitted after a Gweru magistrate ruled that there was no incriminating evidence against them. The trio was accused of flouting tender procedures and inflating prices of equipment bought by the Government on behalf of Mnene Hospital. Dharara and Madenga had denied the charges arguing that Mnene was a private institution with its own financial and procurement procedures, which they could not influence. Allegations against Moyo and Dharara were that in October 2011, Mnene Hospital sought to buy a ceiling-mounted X-ray machine, mobile X-ray and an X-ray processor.
On October 25, 2011, Moyo allegedly wrote a letter to the Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary seeking authority to process tenders from United Bulawayo Hospitals and Chitsungo Mission Hospital.
Instead of following laid down tender procedures, Moyo and Dharara allegedly connived to use already processed tenders from the two hospitals.
The two bought a mounted X-ray machine for $180 000 and an X-ray processor for $45 000, against market prices of $83 000 and $7 000 respectively.
The deal allegedly benefited Capital Transfer and Food Miles Trading Company, which supplied the equipment.
The two firms were reportedly owned by one person.
On February 1, 2012, Moyo and Dharara allegedly made a payment of $100 000 to Food Miles for renovations at Mnene, ignoring tender procedures.
On November 8, 2011, Moyo, Dharara and Madenga allegedly used an already processed tender from Masvingo Provincial Hospital and bought an autoclave machine for $64 634.
The actual price for the machine was $10 500 and prosecutors said Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda, who owns Harness Investments, benefited from the deal. —
@pchitumba1 A FORMER Plumtree Town Council Treasurer has appeared in court for allegedly stealing $16 195 from council funds during his term of office.
Joshua Nkomo (52) who runs Kondabayakhe Sports Bar in Plumtree, resigned recently after residents in the border town accused him of embezzling council funds and demanded his suspension.
The residents accused the council administration of overlooking Nkomo’s offence.
Nkomo yesterday pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of theft when he appeared before Plumtree magistrate, Mr Gideon Ruvetsa.
He was remanded out of custody to September 30 on $300 bail.
Prosecuting, Mrs Rose Sibanda said during his term of office, from September 3, 2010 to August 16, 2015, Nkomo took money meant for various development projects and for employees and converted it to his personal use.
He also allegedly took advance salaries and did not pay back the money.
The matter came to light after an audit of council finance statements by the local authority’s internal auditor, Mr Christopher Ndlovu.
“During his term of office, Nkomo was the director of finance and he supervised the finance department. He took $5 845 from the council capital development fund and converted the money to his own use.
“Nkomo also took $300 from the council coffers and didn’t return it. He took $7 900 as advance salary, $1 200 from the council’s FBC bank account which was meant for staff mileage,” Mrs Sibanda said.
She said Nkomo also took $1 200 from the council road fund and $950 as advance mileage but did not return the money.
Mrs Sibanda said a council audit report and vouchers were available as exhibits.
The local authority is being represented by Plumtree Town Council chairperson, Mr Paulos Vini Hobane.
Plumtree residents early this year petitioned the Minister of Local Government, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere demanding the suspension of the Plumtree Council administration and all six councillors after accusing them of concealing a case of funds mismanagement by Nkomo.
The residents asked the Minister to deploy government auditors to carry out a consolidated forensic audit in all council departments.
They alleged that Nkomo was last year collecting payments for stands and issuing buyers with fake receipts and pocketing the money.
Plumtree Combined Residents and Development Association Chairperson, Mr Richard Khumalo, who spoke during the meeting, said they had resorted to petitioning the Ministry as the council was not taking action despite numerous reports that had been made. — @DubeMatutu
Dr David Parirenyatwa