GUTU – In what is a clear show of double standards and politicisation of development, a Gutu Rural District Council subcommittee yesterday approved Zanu PF secretary for security, Lovemore Matuke’s application to build a clinic barely six months after rejecting a similar project by an opposition party leader.
The town board committee chaired by Gabriel Mapepa approved Matuke’s private clinic which is to be constructed at Mpandawana Growth Point just across Munhende River along Gutu – Chatsworth road.
The Clinic which will be known as Sandon Clinic is according to council officials who presented the application to the committee primarily to serve Matuke’s private school called Sandon which is more than 10km away from the growth point.
What raises eyebrows is that last year the same council rejected a bigger hospital and school project proposed by MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa for rural Mawunga.
Members of the public who spoke to The Mirror said that the rural people to be served by Chamisa’s hospital project travel 70km to the nearest hospital and are therefore in a direr situation than those at Mpandawana Growth Point where Matuke’s clinic will be build. What makes the situation worse for Chiwara rural is that Gutu District has just one operational ambulance for its population of more than 0,5 million people.
Villagers are ferried to hospitals and clinics in wheel barrows and ox-drawn carts. The ambulance is just used for inter-hospital transfers.
Sandon Clinic is going to be built 800m from Gutu Rural Hospital, the second largest hospital in Gutu District. It is also 9km from Gutu Mission Hospital, the biggest referral hospital in the district. There are also a number of private clinics dotted around the growth point which makes Sandon a luxury compared to the dire need for Chiwara villagers.
Yesterday’s approval of Matuke’s project now awaits endorsement of the full council. A source however, told The Mirror that there are plans to bring back Chamisa’s application for discussion in council again.
In the forefront of rejecting Chamisa hospital project were Gutu RDC chairman Nicholas Zambara and Gutu District Development Coordinator, Cheedza Tafirei.
Matuke also recently started an ambulance business in Masvingo under the name Trans-care Emergency Medical Services.https://masvingomirror.com