By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to open Ekusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo by July as the ruling party intensifies its election campaign.
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.
Several attempts to lure investors to operate the hospital have failed and it has over the years become one of those Bulawayo development projects the ruling party dangles at the electorate during elections.
However, addressing party supporters at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday, Mnangagwa said the hospital will start operating in July.
“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,” he said.
Mnangagwa also took a swipe at the MDC-T run Bulawayo City Council for the poor state of infrastructure and urged the electorate to vote them out in the upcoming elections.
“I am disappointed by urban councils. Roads are poor and service delivery is poor. I hear Bulawayo City Council have closed water here. What nonsense is that?
“The power of the council comes from the people. So, you are the people and they deny you water. Here you are the people who voted for them. Get them out!” he thundered.
Incidentally, local authorities have always blamed their failure to offer quality service delivery on the decision by the Zanu PF-led government`s infamous 2013 decision to write off debts owed by rate payers to local authorities.
The order was widely seen as a campaign gimmick by the ruling party.