ZIMBABWEANS, moreso our leadership, must bow their heads in shame. How can a whole nation neglect for 16 years an upmarket 369-bed health facility, the Ekusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo?
It really boggles the mind why the facility has been left at the mercy of the elements after millions of dollars were used to construct it. It is said that the facility never admitted a single patient since its completion in 2004 simply because some outfit called the Zimbabwean Health Care Trust (ZHCT) had helped facilitate the purchase of millions of dollars-worth of useless equipment. A South African company, Phodiso Holdings was said to have been part of the scandalous deal to equip the hospital.
So what exactly happened to these guys, Phodiso and ZHCT? Were they ever charged for this abomination? Is it not sad that no one in government has ever been keen to take to task those who purchased the obsolete equipment?
Little wonder the country’s health delivery system is in its current shambolic state. It is even more paining that construction of Ekusileni was funded by the National Social Security Authority (Nssa), obviously using pensioners’ contributions. Is it not an embarrassment that pensioners are currently receiving paltry pay-outs each month after their years’ blood and sweat contributing to Nssa was poured down the drain?
The originator of the idea for Ekusileni, the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, must, indeed, be violently turning and twisting in his grave.
Only recently we heard a similar issue of obsolete equipment having been bought for our hospitals, and yet again the case simply fizzled out into a non-event overnight. Can anyone then be faulted for demanding answers to these grey issues which continue to bleed the country’s little and scarce resources?
Surely government should not continue busying itself re-equipping Ekusileni when it has not demanded answers as to who was responsible in the earlier clear theft of public funds.
Incumbent Health minister Obadiah Moyo says he is busy scouting for new investors for the health facility. We cannot fault Moyo at all. He appears genuinely looking for investors to get this project off the ground since its inception. Maybe he needs to interrogate how the hospital got to this situation.
Dare we ask: Is there any guarantee that the people of Zimbabwe will again not be led down the garden path only to be told later that more archaic equipment was bought?
If those who duped the whole country last time are still walking the earth, do they not smell yet another opportunity to loot? The lackadaisical manner in which government does its business is astounding and its carefree attitude in the face of blatant corruption boggles the mind.