By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s failure to follow through on promises to reopen Bulawayo’s Ekusileni Medical Centre by July 15 this year has infuriated activists and political parties in the area which accuse the state leader of lacking in terms of commitment on projects originated by the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo.
President Mnangagwa made the commitment during his ill-fated rally at White City Stadium in which two presidential security aides were killed with scores injured in a mysterious grenade blast June this year.
“Ekusileni has been standing for 17 years but now let me promise you that on 15 July, it will begin functioning. The investors will be on site to begin fitting equipment on the 15th,” Mnangagwa said then.
The Dumiso Dabengwa led Zapu party castigated the state President for allegedly making empty political promises.
“It was the usual empty political rhetoric from Zanu PF,” charged Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa.
“I really don’t think anyone believed Mnangagwa when he said that about Ekusileni Medical Centre.
“He presided over its suffocation all these years and how all of a sudden he wants it opened beats the mind.”
Maphosa said it was time a new “development oriented” government was voted into power.
Bulawayo pressure group Ibhetshu LikaZulu’s secretary general Mbuso Fuzwayo said Mnangagwa was on a vote seeking campaign when he made the promise.
“It is obvious that Mnangagwa was seeking votes from the people of Bulawayo. If he was sincere, we could have seen some progress by now,” said Fuzwayo.
“Government will not support any programmes that are the brainchild of the late Father Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo.”
Ekusileni Medical Centre has been lying idle since 2004 when it was forced to shut down by government after it was discovered that equipment worth millions of dollars acquired by the Zimbabwean Health Care Trust (ZHCT) was obsolete.
The upmarket 369-bed hospital facility was built with funding from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
It was the brainchild of the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo.