VICE PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga’s return to Zimbabwe from China where he underwent complicated medical procedures – and from the look of things is now looking quite fit – must be a welcome relief to the many of his sympathisers and relatives.
We speak with a guarded tongue, lest we be misconstrued as being unsympathetic to the former Army General.
Far from it.
What concerns us most, at Zim Morning Post, is the current perilous state of most medical institutions in the country.
The majority of medical centres in Zimbabwe currently resemble dilapidated and evacuated structures, characterised by a lack of both manpower as well as medicines and other requisite surgical apparatuses.
The return in seemingly good health of Chiwenga, rather than be viewed as symptomatic of life, should actually epitomise the near dearth and collapse of the entire national healthcare system.
Most Zimbabweans are today secretly envious of the Vice President’s incredulous fortunes, not because it is noble to fall sick and be treated using the taxpayers’ money in faraway countries as China and Singapore, but perhaps because it is all they have become used to – having their leaders flown by fast jets to foreign lands, even for as much as a simple headache.
Upon return from China on Saturday, Chiwenga hit the ground running, immediately taking a swipe at junior and middle level doctors for their fight over improved general working conditions.
Doctors allege they earn much less than US$100 and that medical institutions where they are stationed across the country would rather be called something else, pointing at their apparent lack of medicines and derelict surgical equipment.
We are aware of a Kuwadzana Extension man (name withdrawn), who not so many days ago squirmed and cried in pain as would a child at one of the government hospitals in Harare, following an open and anaesthetic-free surgical procedure on his left thumb.
Another male adult (again name withdrawn), whose close relative is a member of the Presidential Advisory Council, travels twice weekly between Bulawayo and Harare for dialysis – a sure sign that the country is currently in a state of an unrelenting healthcare mess.
We are opposed to the further dismissals of healthcare practitioners by the Government of Zimbabwe, of which Chiwenga is Vice President, as doing so would result in the prolonged and unmitigated suffering of the ordinary people.
The excitement of getting his body back to form should actually spur the Vice President into knitting together a strong healthcare system that can only be the envy of many in Africa!