A BULAWAYO resident and activist who is lobbying Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to open its clinics 24 hours per day vowed not to give up the fight after the local authority recently turned down his request as impossible.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Khumbulani Maphosa on November 30 last year petitioned mayor Martin Moyo, Town Clerk Christopher Dube and other BCC health professionals to review operating times of its clinics to 24 hours per day.
BCC clinics close at 3pm daily, but Maphosa, argued the closing time denied the general public access to emergency health care services, and was an assault on the right to health and a violation of 76(3) of the country’s Constitution.
The council, through the mayor, in response, said it had no manpower to open its clinics 24 hours every day owing to an employment freeze because of a biting financial squeeze. Maphosa told Southern Eye he was not giving up.
“It is the duty and mandate of the council to ensure that services are available to us citizens whenever we need them. If the employment freeze is deeply affecting the discharge of their duties, it is the duty and mandate of the mayor and his council to challenge and petition it instead of mourning over it.
“The Mayor and the council need to remember that they were not voted by the minister but by us residents, they don’t get their mandate from the minister but from us the residents and for them to run the council, they get funding from rates paid by us the residents and not the minister or central government, for that reason, the council needs to listen to us the residents and not the minister or central government,” Maphosa said.
He added: “In view of the above, I shall be seeking audience with the health committee of council to present my case because truly in pursuit of human right’s justice, fairness and human development we can’t be conforming to the status quo and pretending as if its business as usual.”