The sacking of chief executive officers (CEOs) of five major Government hospitals was part of the restructuring of the health system by Government to make it more effective and efficient, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Acting Health and Child Care Minister Professor Amon Murwira said the restructuring would not only be at the level of the CEOs, but will also be effected at the parent ministry.
He said the current set up of the health system was wrong in that almost everything that was used in the health delivery system was imported, including water.
Prof Murwira said this in Senate during a question and answer session.
Masvingo Senator Tichinani Mavetera (MDC-Alliance) had questioned the rationale of sacking top hospital officials at a time the country was preoccupied with fighting Covid-19, which has seen the country recording confirmed cases exceeding 2 000.
“The CEOs were relieved of their duties by the Health Services Board as part of the re-organisation. When you make a mistake two hours ago, it is not bad to correct it. There is need to do a brave thing. How can we have a ministry spending US$1 billion importing everything,” said Prof Murwira.
“The problem of the health system has been that of configuration. There has been a lot of toxicity over so many years. We have good medical experts in the country but we have been buying everything including water for drip, even crutches. Procurement has become a business and there have been leakages.
“At the end of the day we have to look at ourselves and reconfigure ourselves for effectiveness and efficiency. We are looking at restructuring the Ministry of Health so that all the money we use to import can be used for developmental purpose.”
Those relieved of their duties are: Mr Ernest Manyawu of Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Dr Tinashe Dhobbie of Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, Dr Enock Mayida of Chitungwiza Central Hospital, Mrs Nonhlanhla Ndlovu of United Bulawayo Hospitals and Mr Leonard Mabhandi of Ingutsheni Hospital, a major psychiatric hospital near Bulawayo.
Some directors in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, and executives at National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) have also been moved.
Responding to another question, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said political activists Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume were not arrested for denouncing corruption but for allegations related to instigating violence.
Manicaland Senator, Douglas Mwonzora had queried the rationale of arresting the two at a time they were speaking against corruption.
Minister Ziyambi said it was critical that people respected the doctrine of separation of powers by allowing the Judiciary to play its role.
“I believe that every arm of the Government must be given its space.
“I am not aware that they were arrested for speaking against corruption. There are allegations against them and we should allow the Judiciary to do its work,” said Minister Ziyambi.