from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE humiliation of a Zimbabwean woman by a senior health official in neighbouring South Africa has brought to the fore the collapse of the healthcare sector in Zimbabwe.
The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) has come under criticism for presiding over the crisis.
A spokesperson of the former liberation movement has worsened issues by praising a local private hospital that offered to settle the bill of the woman that came under a xenophobic outburst by the Limpopo provincial Member of Executive Council (MEC) for Health, Phophi Ramathuba.
Critics believe – instead of the governing party heaping praise on the private Arundel Hospital that pledged to foot the medical bill of the woman, ZANU-PF ought to revive the health sector to stop Zimbabweans flocking to neighbouring countries seeking medical treatment.
Tafadzwa Mugwadi, ZANU-PF Director of Information and Publicity, has shared a tweet from Arundel Hospital asking the hapless female patient’s bill to be sent to them so that the Harare hospital settles it.
However, angry Zimbabweans bashed Mugwadi for boasting about Arundel hospital’s stance.
Some believe settling the bills of one Zimbabwean in South Africa is not enough as millions have bills that were not paid.
Other individuals accused the ruling party of lauding a private hospital instead of the government providing the needed healthcare requirements through public hospitals.
One Percy said, “We don’t want this (Arundel hospital settling one bill). We demand functional hospitals in Zimbabwe (to cater for all) #FixOurHealthcareSystem.”
James Mkhize ranted: “It’s a shame that you (ZANU-PF) celebrate the assistance of one person whom you failed as government.”
Other Zimbabweans such as Wellas insisted: “Government has become clueless to an extent of thanking Arundel Hospital. What are you doing to help your citizens so that they do not get embarrassed in other countries? This is pathetic and shameful.”
Gift Cheva stated, “ZANU is useless. So Arundel will also buy cancer machines and paracetamol for the hospitals?”
Mondli Mhlanga concurred: “Such a rich country surviving on handouts. Where is our wealth going and why are a few afforded?”
Andrew Kapposa argued: “All Zimbabweans need is a functional healthcare sector.”
Inos Mazivise advised: “Cde Mugwadi, some of these things, don’t comment please, because you are the problem as ZANU-PF in this whole saga.”
Mazivise said while Ramathuba’s sentiments were valid as she mentioned Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, by venting the bedridden woman, she delivered the message to the wrong person.
Amid the collapse of the health sector, some that cannot cross to neighbouring countries are left to contend with clinics and hospitals without medicines and drugs in Zimbabwe.
Health workers are often on strike over poor working conditions.
The wealthy travel mostly to South Africa and overseas.
A number of Zimbabwean politicians have died in hospitals in the neighbouring country.
Former president, Robert Mugabe, died in a hospital in Singapore in 2019.
At independence in 1980, his government took over a health sector that was among the most thriving in Africa.
– CAJ News