Wednesday 17 February 2021


More than 200 inmates at Ngomahuru Psychiatric Hospital are bathing daily in Magwangwadza River because the institution has been without running water for the past one-and-half months, a letter of intent to sue the Minister of Health and Child Care Constantino Chiwenga has said.

The letter dated February 15, 2021 says the arrangement deprives the inmates of their human dignity as male and female bath at the same time.

It also says that allowing such a large number of people to bath from a stretch of a river poses serious health hazards to the inmates and villagers in the locality who use the same river.

Mureri said they are waiting for a response from Chiwenga before taking the next step. Efforts to get a comment from Chiwenga were futile.

“The patients are being taken to the river, both male and female, at the same time to bath,” says the letter written by Martin Mureri of Mureri Legal Practitioners.

An employee at Ngomahuru told The Mirror that Zinwa has not restored water supply to the institution.

Mureri was instructed to write the letter by Tachiona Chiminya, a former MP and one of the villagers who now share the river with the inmates.

The letter says that the villagers complained to authorities at Ngomahuru against the arrangement but they were told that the hospital had no option because Zinwa is not pumping water to the institution. Zinwa in turn blamed Zesa which is not supplying it with electricity.

Mureri says releasing 200 mentally challenged inmates who are supposed to be confined, into a community is a great danger to that community. The inmates also faces the risk of drowning or being attacked by crocodiles, said Mureri.

He therefore demanded that Chiwenga acts to restore water supply to the institution within 24 hours of receipt of the letter or face legal action without further notice. Masvingo Mirror


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