‘Machete gangs threaten Kwekwe Hospital staff’

KWEKWE General Hospital medical superintendent, Patricia Mapanda on Monday appealed to government to tighten security at the institution to protect its staff from marauding machete gangs who usually make follow-ups on their hospitalised victims.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

Speaking during a tour at the institution by the Health Services Board (HSB), Mapanda said the gangs stormed the institution carrying machetes and other dangerous weapons, a situation that was compromising the safety of hospital staff.

“We have a serious problem with machete gangs, especially artisanal miners,”Mapanda said.
“They (machete gangs) clash and attack each other before making follow-ups on their victims admitted at this institution.”

She added: “They would be hiding machetes in their trousers only to bring them out in the hospital wards and in the process threatening nurses on duty.”

“We need HSB to really consider armed security personnel for the safety of our staff.”

She said the institution had since approached the officer commanding Kwekwe police and a promise to set up a base at the hospital had been made.

Mapanda said although none of their staff had been harmed so far, they lived in constant fear.
HSB chairperson Paulinus Sikhosana said the board would look into the issue.

Last year, four gun-totting men stormed the institution but they left without harming anyone. It is believed they were hunting for their victim to finish him off.

Recently, Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Larry Mavima called on stakeholders to join hands with the police and decisively deal with machete gangs before they become warlords who have the potential to start a civil war.

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