Thursday 13 October 2022


ZANU PF yesterday ordered a shadowy group calling itself Health Ambassadors for Economic Development (ED) to abort its inaugural Press conference in Harare, but the organisation later got permission to go ahead from one Matuke purported to be a high-ranking official in the ruling party.

The organisation told journalists that it seeks to mobilise all health workers to support President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s candidature in next year’s polls.

“We will postpone this meeting until further notice,” one of the group members who identified herself as Everjoy Nyasha Musamha told the media. “We are experiencing a technical glitch.”

They then made several calls to seniors at Zanu PF headquarters, while journalists waited, and the Press conference was later reconvened.

Further investigations by NewsDay revealed that the new health workers body was not registered with the government.

Health ministry spokesperson Donald Mujiri professed ignorance of the newly-formed health workers body.

“There is a new health workers' body formed?” Mujiri asked. “The Health Service Board (HSB) may know better because that is where all health bodies are registered.”

HSB acting secretary-general Engelbert Mbengwa said he was not aware of the new formation.

“We have not seen any communication to that effect,” Mbengwa said. “Those are individual initiatives. Ordinarily, they should submit their registration with us and also at the Health and Child Care ministry as the bona fide regulator. If an organisation is representing health workers on something relating to their labour issues, we expect them to register. ”

Zanu PF political commissar Michael Bimha said: “I wouldn’t know (of the existence of the Health Ambassadors for ED) because those who write letters requesting affiliation write through various departments which include administration and commissariat. I don’t remember as I was busy with (central committee) elections. I will have to check.”

At the Press conference yesterday, there was a lot of confusion as the Health Ambassadors for ED members failed to identify their job titles in the health sector.

They left journalists in stitches after one member, Crispen Magaya, said he was a medical aid practitioner.

The group’s national co-ordinator, Kudakwashe Maswiswi said he was an environmentalist. The others, Simbarashe James Tafirenyika, Rodney Muhwati and Cynthia Chisisiri said they were RGN nurses, but failed to explain the abbreviations when asked to do so.

Maswiswi said the organisation aimed to transform nurses’ lives through projects in support of Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030.

They were mum on the issue of health workers’ salaries.

The Health Ambassadors for ED appears to be one of the many parallel structures that have been created within Zanu PF in support of Mnangagwa’s 2023 presidential campaign.

These include Varakashi for ED, Young Women for ED, Men BelievED, Mahwindi for ED, Pastors for ED, Teachers for ED, Councillors for ED, Mapositori for ED and Bornfrees for ED. Newsday


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