By Anna Chibamu
COMPLETION of the construction of the Defence Ministry state-of-the-art Manyame Hospital has been delayed due to hyperinflation as the government struggles to fund the project, it has emerged.
Although construction of the 101-bed three-storey specialist hospital is ongoing, with a progress rate of 89.36% against the planned 93.56%, contractors are also abandoning the project due to non-payment of services.
Senior Local Government Ministry officials told the Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services parliamentary portfolio committee Wednesday the project the completion of the hospital had been pushed to December 14, due to financial constraints.
“The project commenced on the 26th of August 2019 and was expected to run a 14-month contract period ending 30 October 2020. However, we could not meet the initial deadline due to hyperinflation, which was affecting the procurement of materials due to price fluctuations,” Ruvimbo Dimarho, the chief architect of the project, told MPs.
“In January this year, the contractor applied for an extension of time and submitted a new programme of works with a revised completion date of 23 October 2021. However, during this revised contract period, we have suffered a rise in Covid-19 cases among site workers which has affected the speed and pace of works on-site”.
The hospital, to be run by the Defence Ministry as part of an extension of the existing hospital located at the Manyame Air Force of Zimbabwe Base.
It is being financed by the Finance Ministry at a cost of US$ 15,7million.
Dimarho added: “To date, we have received an equivalent of ZWL$ 959, 984, 069.00 (US$ 14, 563, 712.98 for the project based on the inter-bank rate).
“However, it is important to note that the market in which we are procuring our goods and services is not priced using the inter-bank rate but the parallel market rates.
“It is important for you to take note that the above estimate of US$15,7million is exclusive of renovations to the old hospital, mortuary, incinerator, and boundary wall works.”
The ground floor of the hospital will accommodate the rehabilitation and occupational therapy section, casualty department, specialist radiography area, maternity wing and out-patients department, while the first floor comprises nine special wards, hospital laboratories, dental unit, renal unit, intensive care unit, and high dependency unit.
“Following a request that was made through the Zimbabwe Defence Forces health department, we managed to add a cardiology unit on the first floor, which shall be equipped with a state-of-the-art Catheter equipment for diagnosis of heart diseases or disorders also on the first floor,” Dimairho added.
The second floor will house administrative offices.