Sunday, 11 April 2021

MAT NORTH'S ONLY HOSP MUST BE COMPLETED NEXT YEAR : ORDERS CHIWENGA


VICE President Dr Constantino Chiwenga has ordered work on the construction of Lupane Provincial Hospital to resume with immediate effect after Government injected $47 million for the completion of the 250-bed medical centre.

Dr Chiwenga, who is also Health and Child Care Minister, visited the hospital’s construction site yesterday morning and said the project should be completed by next year.

Speaking after touring the site, VP Chiwenga said it was unacceptable that Matabeland North, which has a population of close to 700 000 people, is the only province which does not have a provincial hospital.

“The purpose of my visit was to accelerate the construction of the Lupane Provincial Hospital. This project as you are aware started way back in the First Republic in 2004. It had stalled to an unacceptable level. When the President visited Matabeleland North Province, this matter was also highlighted. We have been looking at ways of resuscitating all legacy projects which had stalled during the First Republic and we want to finish them.”

VP Chiwenga said the completion of the hospital should be done expeditiously.

“The length and breadth of this hospital demands that this institution be completed as a matter of urgency. And so, we wanted to see what the plan was at that time, what is it that can be done now and how can we quickly complete this project.

“Government has already put in some resources. By last week we had already put resources to kick start this place. We want to see how we can utilise those resources and go full throttle and have this project completed by next year.”

Asked why the project had stalled since its inception in 2004, VP Chiwenga said those tasked with such projects have been approaching them lethargically.

“The sum total of it (delays) is lethargy, there wasn’t that passion and push. There is no excuse that we can give ourselves for having stalled this project for such a long time. Now we have to work 24/7 to complete it,” he said.

Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director, Dr Munekai Padingani, said the visit by the Vice President heralded a new beginning in the construction of the hospital.

Upon completion, the hospital will boast of staff accommodation for both junior and senior members, theatres, casualty, out patients’ departments, general wards, paediatric, psychiatric and isolation wards, a mortuary, kitchen and an Intensive Care Unit.

Meanwhile, mobile phone operators have been urged to play their part to expand network connectivity in the country so as to bring development to previously marginalised communities.

“Speaking at the commissioning of Nachulwe base station in Siansundu Village, Binga yesterday afternoon, VP Chiwenga said all mobile operators players must work together to achieve all round connectivity countrywide. The base station was constructed by NetOne in partnership with Huawei international.

“It is a known fact that if a nation has robust telecommunications infrastructure. The chances of an improved Gross Domestic Product are higher than a less developed country.

“NetOne and other operators are critical in the provision of network connectivity. This will bring inclusivity to previously marginalised communities,” VP Chiwenga said.

“Our joy comes from the fact that nearby schools, hospitals and community at large can now benefit from this enhanced connectivity brought about by NetOne Cellular. As the Government of Zimbabwe, we urge other players to do the same until we achieve all round connectivity across the country.” Sunday News

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