Bu­l­awayo leg­is­la­tor al­leges Ekusileni Hos­pi­tal sab­o­tage

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Than­deka Moyo

THE Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Mpopoma-Pe­land­aba Con­stituency, Cde Joseph Tshuma, has urged Gov­ern­ment to in­ves­ti­gate rea­sons be­hind de­lays in opening Ekusileni Hos­pi­tal in Bu­l­awayo.

Con­tribut­ing to de­bate in Par­lia­ment on Tues­day, a livid Cde Tshuma said there were companies will­ing to run the in­sti­tu­tion, but it seems there are el­e­ments bent on sab­o­tag­ing Gov­ern­ment ef­forts.

The hos­pi­tal was built in 2001, op­er­ated for a few months and was sub­se­quently shut down after it was dis­cov­ered that the ac­quired equip­ment, worth mil­lions of dol­lars, was ob­so­lete.

“I would like this to be put on record that this Ekusileni mat­ter must be in­ves­ti­gated be­cause I am told that there are companies will­ing to open the hos­pi­tal,” said Cde Tshuma.

“I ap­proached Dr Nyasha Ma­suka who was ap­pointed to head the Ekusileni com­mit­tee. He ac­tu­ally showed me ev­i­dence say­ing that there are about nine in­ter­na­tional companies and three lo­cal guys who have put in their pro­pos­als and are will­ing to make sure that the hos­pi­tal can be opened yes­ter­day, but maybe be­cause some­body some­where wants a cut some­where they are hin­der­ing that thing from opening. Is that right?”

He chal­lenged Gov­ern­ment to pri­ori­tise Ekusileni just like other hos­pi­tals in the coun­try.

“The late Vice Pres­i­dent Joshua Nkomo died and left it not func­tion­ing. An­other Vice Pres­i­dent came in, Dr John Landa Nkomo and he died and it is still not func­tion­ing. Now, we have got an­other Vice Pres­i­dent (Mphoko), should he die again and still it will not be func­tion­ing? How fair is that to the peo­ple of Bu­l­awayo and Mata­bele­land. When they start talk­ing you think they are be­ing trib­al­is­tic, yet these are sin­cere is­sues that are there,” Cde Tshuma said.

He said he was also dis­turbed by the fail­ure by Trea­sury to avail $65 000 needed for the dys­func­tional cancer unit at Mpilo Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal.

“I went to Mpilo and asked the CEO of the hos­pi­tal what the prob­lem was. He said they needed $65 000 and had been try­ing to speak to Trea­sury for them to re­lease that money so that the com­pany that re­pairs the ma­chine can come from South Africa and do it. They will not come be­fore they get this pay­ment.

“Are you hon­estly telling me that we are fail­ing to re­lease $65 000 only so that the Mpilo Hos­pi­tal Cancer Unit can start work­ing again? We have got cancer pa­tients in Bu­l­awayo who are dy­ing ev­ery day and we are just sit­ting on our lau­rels,” Cde Tshuma said.

He said such de­lays were sab­o­tag­ing Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s drive to ad­dress eco­nomic chal­lenges.

“How do you re­sus­ci­tate an econ­omy with such kinds of mind­sets?” the leg­is­la­tor asked.

Last year, the Min­istry of Health and Child Care con­sti­tuted a com­mit­tee chaired by Mata­bele­land North Pro­vin­cial Med­i­cal Direc­tor Dr Nyasha Ma­suka to work to­wards opening Ekusileni.—@thamamoe

Ekusileni Hos­pi­tal in Bu­l­awayo

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