Thursday 18 January 2024


Zanu PF’s candidate for the Pelandaba -Tshabalala Constituency by-election, Joseph Tshuma, says if he is elected as the Member of Parliament, he will immediately propose a bill that would prohibit government ministers, including the president from travelling abroad for medical treatment.

According to Tshuma, this is the best approach to improving Zimbabwe’s public health system since it will compel all individuals, regardless of status, to seek medical care locally and contribute to the revamping of public hospitals.

The aspirant MP’s remarks coincide with the ‘worsening’ state of affairs in Zimbabwe’s public hospitals and healthcare systems, mostly the result of inadequate funding that has had a detrimental effect on the availability of medications and equipment, plus a poorly paid workforce, which adds on to the already dire situation.

“I need to go to Parliament and speak for the people. People think that if you go to Parliament and speak about issues you are now anti-Zanu PF or whatever. People say to me ‘Tshuma these things that you are saying will have you expelled from Zanu and I say no my party is there for the people.’ It wants people to get the best out of their country,” Tshuma said while addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Media Centre on Wednesday evening.

Restructuring the country’s public health care system is one of the issues Tshuma hoped to address, claiming that he was not afraid to speak for the people.

“Right now I dare all of you that when I go to Parliament, my first speech and my first proposal is to ban all ministers and even the President himself, from going to seek medical aid outside the country, I want them to go to public hospitals. Parirenyatwa and Mpilo hospitals have to  be rehabilitated so that there is no one who is going out to seek treatment. All of us must be treated here,” he said.

“That is how you get your country to be fixed by talking about real issues. I’m not being anti Zanu PF. Zanu PF doesn’t want a sick person. A sick supporter is as good as useless because they won’t vote. We want healthy people. So we want healthy systems and want a functional hospital with all the medication that we look for.”

The Zanu PF candidate claimed there was a tendency to blame the ruling party for failing to deliver, yet people who were contracted to deliver medical supplies failed to do so.

“We know there are some who were producing airpipe invoices and claiming to have supplied drugs yet there’s no supply at all. We know, but we don’t write about it. Then you say Zanu PF is the reason why there’s no medication in hospitals but you know your friend who has bought you three pints of beer went to the hospital saying they can supply yet they supplied nothing,” Tshuma said.

“If ever we’re going to correct the situation, we need to be sincere with each other. Let’s tell each other the truth. That’s how hard it should be.”

The aspiring MP revealed some people in Bulawayo had approached him advising him that in order for him to be voted for, he must leave Zanu PF.

In response, Tshuma said he would not leave Zanu PF as the party gave him courage

“The Zanu PF jacket is the one that is giving me strength just like a fish in water can do all sorts of styles because the power of that fish is the water. I am not powerful as Joseph Tshuma but I am powerful in the system that I am, which is Zanu PF and that’s the ruling party,” he said.

“So when you divorce me from the ruling party, I am good as useless. If you come to me asking for my help where will I get it when I am Joseph Tshuma but as Joseph Tshuma of Zanu PF, I will go to my party and say ‘we need this help.’ Then my party will provide and in turn I will bring that help to you.” CITE


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