Tuesday 20 February 2024


GOVERNMENT has pledged to expedite the reconstruction of part of St Theresa School of Nursing in Chirumhanzu District in the Midlands province, which was recently gutted by fire that left property worth thousands of dollars destroyed, leaving students and tutors stranded.

Part of the school was destroyed by the fire that started in the early hours about a week ago when students and their tutors were asleep.

The school is part of the Catholic-run St Theresa Mission Hospital and has 165 nursing students (35 males and 130 females) some of whom are due to sit for their final examinations in two weeks.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but preliminary investigations indicate that it started in the reception room for visitors, before spreading to the library, senior tutor’s office, tea room, students’ dining room, kitchen, male hostels and television room.

Indications are that the fire spread rapidly through the ceiling owing to a lack of raised wall partitions. Laptops, furniture, stoves, utensils, refrigerators, beds, solar panels and all library books were destroyed in the raging inferno.

Over the weekend, the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Sleiman Kwidini, together with the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry who is Chirumhanzu South Constituency legislator, Cde Barbara Rwodzi, visited the school to ascertain the extent of the damage caused by the fire.

Dep Minister Kwidini said they were visiting the school with a heavy heart following the devastating incident.

“The Government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care will assist in restoring the damaged infrastructure following the recommendations from the Catholic Diocese of Gweru,” he said.

A high-powered delegation from the Ministry of Health and Child Care also examined the damage to assist in recommendations for restoring the school to what it was before the fire.

“I have brought in a team of relevant technocrats from the Ministry of Health and Child Care namely the director of nursing services for issues to do with the affected nursing students, acting finance director for finance issues and purchasing of goods, hospital planning and infrastructure for the reconstruction project and acquisition of construction materials, acting deputy director administration and logistics for administrative issues and logistics and hospital equipment for hospital equipment,” said Cde Kwidini.

He said the first stage is to restore the destroyed infrastructure, adding that it was prudent that the construction of high-rise buildings at the hospital be considered.

The Deputy Minister also encouraged nursing students who are going to sit for their final exams in the next two weeks to study hard for them to produce positive results.

“Furthermore, I encourage nursing students who are going to sit for their final exams in the next two weeks to study hard. Yes, this fire is a huge drawback in terms of your preparation but I urge you to rise against the tide and study hard and produce positive results,” he said.

“I want to thank you all for the collaborative efforts you portrayed in trying to stop the spread of fire.”

Minister Rwodzi commended the Ministry of Health and Child Care for its swift reaction and pledging to assist in the reconstruction of the nursing school blocks.

“We commend the Ministry and the Government for availing resources so that the re-construction of the affected building and new building takes shape as soon as possible,” she said.

“As we speak, solar installation at the unaffected buildings is now at an advanced stage as well as installation of Internet connectivity to aid the students in their studies.

“Lastly, I encourage students to unite as everything will be back to normalcy very soon,” she said. Chronicle 


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