Mat South health staff in accommodation crisis


By Rex Mphisa

MINISTRY of Health and Child Care workers in Matabeleland South are facing an acute shortage of accommodation, forcing some to share the few available houses, an official has said.

Matabeleland South provincial medical director Rudo Chikodzore said health staff in the province share houses, but a deliberate move to recruit locals was being looked at as an option.

Some Beitbridge hospital employees, however, feel poor administrative practices by officials at different hospitals resulted in deserving cases being denied houses, while clerks benefitted from facilities meant for critical care staff.

“Such cases have not been brought to my attention and I request those deserving cases to write to me even anonymously so that we investigate to correct (the situation),” Chikodzore said.

“We have a serious shortage of houses for health staff throughout Matabeleland South and most people are sharing houses which is not encouraged and may not be permanent.”

She said of late employees asking for transfers were advised to look for areas where they had own accommodation.

An official in the Department of Public Works charged with the construction and provision of government accommodation said most problems started following the creation of a National Housing ministry which took over the allocation of houses.

“When the new ministry was created they did not have houses so they decommissioned all houses and started reallocations, obviously starting with themselves. Then they gave any other civil servant which has resulted in some clerks getting houses ahead of senior staff like regional and provincial heads of departments,” said the official.

“We also have cases whereby some civil servants have been transferred, but hold on to houses at their past stations which has caused a lot of confusion and dissatisfaction,” said the official.

“As we speak, the same ministry has been created again and more confusion as regards administration of government houses looms.”

The official said slow wheels of justice had resulted in their department failing to evict some retired civil servants who have continued occupying government houses, while some are now being sublet.

“The area prosecutor’s house is occupied by someone who has left and we have a house in Maphisa, Kezi, occupied by a magistrate dismissed 10 years ago, but court processes are slow to evict such people. The very custodians of the law give us headaches at times,” he said.

Matabeleland South provincial head of public construction, Sijabuliso Ncube told Southern Eye yesterday that up to 200 houses built for civil servants under the Beitbridge redevelopment plan would be commissioned soon and these would ease housing problems.