By Bulawayo Correspondent
INDIAN investors, Sharda Group of Institutions (SGI), who were contracted by the government to run multi-million dollar Ekusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo have abandoned the project under unclear circumstances.
In June 2018, ahead of the July 2018 general elections, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced government had engaged SGI to operate the health facility.
At the time, Mnangagwa promised the health centre would be operational by January 2019, but up to date, the facility is yet to open its doors top the public.
“When this new dispensation came into being, we decided to attend to this institution and I discussed with Minister David Parirenyatwa that everything has to be done to make it operational,” said Mnangagwa then.
“I was speaking to him and I said what’s going on today and he said we are not yet there then I said to him we can go ahead but I am happy to say that on the 15th of July (2018) the investors will be on the ground,” he said.
However, Health Minister Obadiah Moyo told journalists in Bulawayo, that the Indian investors had since abandoned their plans to invest in the project.
“The Indian investors whom we had engaged to invest in Ekusileni hospital have opted out of the project. We are now discussing with other investors who have shown interest in the project,” said Moyo.
The Minister could not shed more light on why the investor had pulled out.
The minister said in the event that the potential investors again withdraw from the project, government has set aside funds to resuscitate the hospital.
Ekusileni hospital has had many false starts since 2001 and several efforts to revive it have been to no avail.
In 2015, a South African firm, Phodiso Holdings was engaged to equip the hospital and the deal was expected to be implemented by April of the same year, but it fell through.
The hospital was closed in 2001 after it was discovered that equipment worth millions of dollars acquired by the Zimbabwean Health Care Trust (ZHCT) was obsolete.