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Gutu women deliver at home as clinic takes 10 years to build

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Gutu women deliver at home as clinic takes 10 years to build



GUTU – A clinic at Ndahwi in Ward 29, Gutu which was mooted in 2014 and construction started in 2018 is yet to be completed forcing pregnant women to deliver at home, villagers who spoke to The Mirror in interviews have said.
Last year a teacher gave birth in the school premises at Ndahwi Primary because of the distance to the clinic and lack of transport.
Zimbabwe National Family Planning employee who is also a villager, Rugare Gumindoga said the absence of a clinic has serious effects on women and girls in particular.


Patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV are defaulting on treatment because medication is difficult to access. Women have unplanned pregnancies because of long distances to health facilities.
Scores of teens with STIs go untreated for long periods because they have no access to clinics.
Getrude Mupiwa from Gwinha village is one of the women who gave birth at home because of lack of a health facility nearby. She had labour pains at 3am and had nowhere to go.


“It is now 10 years since people sat down to plan for this clinic. Many of those involved in the project have since died. We have lost hope and we don’t know if we are going to live to see it opened,” said Mupiwa.
Villagers and their employed children contributed their own money and provided material for construction of the 10-roomed clinic until Council intervened and took over the project in 2021.
Projects in Zimbabwe, big or small take forever to complete due to lack of audits and oversight. The project to tar the 57km Gutu – Buhera Road which is a State road has not been completed since independence, 44 years ago. Ony 15km of the road was tarred and an attempt by the Second Republic to resume the project in 2019 collapsed after resident engineers looted resources.


Lovemore Muungani, a villager said one of the reasons derailing progress is that Gutu RDC condemned the trusses on the roofing of staff houses, floors and doors. He said that villagers are still paying money towards the construction of the clinic.
Gutu RDC CEO, Alexander Mutembwa confirmed the delay in the completion of the clinic but refuted allegations that some features of the clinic were condemned arguing that this was just work in progress.
He said that the local authority had too many projects on its hands and resources from the Devolution Fund sometimes take long to be disbursed. He also said that council’s plan was to complete Makumbe and Mapiriviri clinics and then go back to Ndahwi.
The local authority is currently seized with the drafting of a 20-year masterplan for the district, he also said.
Headman Ndahwi born Phonias Mahaso said villagers walk 20km to the nearest clinics like Nerupiri, Mushaviri or Mpandawana. He said many pregnant women give birth at home and some on their way to the clinic.


During the rain season the area becomes isolated as Mutirikwi River can be flooded for weeks and is difficult to cross.
Villagers had constructed the clinic to slab level by the time Gutu Rural District Council took over the construction in 2021.
Headman Ndahwi insisted that some work at the clinic had indeed been condemned and took The Mirror inside the building and showed the crew trusses in the nurses’ house, the floor and doors that need to be removed.
What baffles villagers is that the condemned material was sourced by Gutu RDC itself.
Gutu West MP, John Paradza’s call went unanswered for several days. Ward 29 councillor, Hogas Manyiwa could not be reached for a comment.
“We have placed the project on hold as we are currently focusing on the master plan. It is not true that we have condemned the structure because the builders are contracted by the council. Devolution funds are also not regularly disbursed,” said Mutembwa.

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