Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

'Zanu PF must account for Makamba debacles' - good start but must self-empower too

28 Mar 2020 at 14:48hrs | Views
A lot has been said about the tragic events surrounding the late Zororo Makamba's death but, sadly, most of it has been the usual static noise. So when I heard something coherent, a diamond amongst the stone, I was ecstatic!

"Minister of Health and Child Care, Obadiah Moyo must take responsibility for the demise of Zororo Makamba and account to the Makamba family and the nation. We also demand that the Minister comes clean on the state of preparedness and response by the government on COVID-19," the Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights (ZDHR) posted in their Social Media account.
I would like to applaud the ZDHR for hitting the nail on the head! The sheer incompetence with which our political leaders have handled the corona virus pandemic is unforgivable more so because the nation will pay dearly for it – with lost treasure, human suffering and human lives!

The nation was assured that Wilkins Hospital was equipped to deal with the corona virus patients. Zororo Makamba was the first patient to be admitted there and the nation was shocked to discover just how ill-equipped the hospital was.
Zororo was offered a bed and nothing else!

"His doctor made it clear earlier on that he had to be on a ventilator because he could not breathe. However, when we got at Wilkins Hospital there was no ventilator, no medication and even the oxygen would run out and they had to get it from the City of Harare," said Tawanda Makamba in a statement.

"We then brought the ventilator on Sunday by 2pm and when we got here, because the portable ventilator had an American plug, they told us to get an adapter because they only had round sockets at the hospital. I then rushed to buy an adapter and came back and they never used it and when I asked why they were not using the ventilator they said they had no sockets in his room.
"So, they didn't have medication, ventilators and we brought them a ventilator and they didn't have sockets in his room. I told them that I had an extension cord and pleaded with them to use the cord, but they refused."

This was not all; there was no running clean water and the patient was expected to use a bucket for a toilet!
It should be noted that just a few days before Zororo was admitted, President Mnangagwa launched the Zimbabwe's Coronavirus National Preparedness and Response Plan with the usual fanfare and glitz. UN and WHO representative attended the launch. And now it turns out that very specialist hospital at the heart of the plan did not have power sockets for ventilators and other monitoring equipment, no running water, no proper toilet facilities, no protective clothing for staff (one staff member who attended Makamba has reportedly contracted the virus), etc.!

Surely, we do not need international donors to help us install a water tank, toilet facilities, etc. But in Mnangagwa's Zimbabwe, it is clear we do!

It just so happened that Nelson Chamisa, leader of the main Opposition MDC A, the party responsible for Council run Wilkins Hospital, visited the hospital a few days before Zororo Makamba was admitted. The MDC A leaders gave his thumbs up approval!

"I visited Wilkins hospital. So encouraging to see how the City of HARARE leaders & staff are working to enhance training, capacity and preparedness in dealing with COVID-19. I was taken through the processes. We must all do our best to be fight this pandemic," tweeted Chamisa.
So, what exactly did Chamisa find so "encouraging"!!!

It is heartening that some Zimbabweans are now openly advocating that we hold to account our corrupt and incompetent opposition, Minister Moyo, President Mnangagwa and the whole Zanu PF cabal. The call is a good start, even though it is long overdue, but given the seriousness of the corona virus, holding them to account will not suffice. We must do more!

The corona virus pandemic is going to claim many, many more Zimbabwean lives beside Zororo Makamba. Two notable things can be said about the death toll:
•    The per capita death rate in Zimbabwe will be hundreds of times higher than that in developed countries. Whereas the latter nations had prosperous economies and robust health systems to deal with the pandemic Zimbabwe's at economy was in a total mess and the health service was barely functioning and the pandemic was the coup the grace.

•    The failure to supply clean running water and hygienic sanitation will account for 30% plus of Zimbabwe's corona virus death toll. There is no excuse why anyone should drink from a shallow well or worse in this day and age! And it will not take much to make the local clinic and hospital water tank has water!

Zimbabweans must take charge of their own and the nation's destiny, since both Zanu PF and MDC have failed to ensure there is clean running water and hygienic sanitation, the people must take over and get these done.

Zimbabwe's political system is not only dysfunctional, it has clearly failed to deliver the people's basic economic and political needs. Worst of all, it is oppressive in that the people are powerless to remove the corrupt and incompetent leaders and are so helpless they cannot do anything to alleviate their suffering and even deaths.

So if the people of Zimbabwe can successful deliver clean running water and hygienic sanitary conditions were both Zanu PF and MDC have failed for the last 40 years it will be the single most important self-empowering act in the nation's history.

If we are to turn the post corona virus Zimbabwe from the corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging de facto Zanu PF dictatorship into a functioning democracy then the process would have started with the self-empowerment.

Besides, 30% or so lives people will save by making sure there is clean running water and hygienic sanitation will be their own!

Source -
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.