Govt trans­fers se­nior staff from Mnene Hos­pi­tal

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pa­trick Chi­tumba

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

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