Sunday, November 28, 2021
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Zaka Central CDF mess: 500 bags of cement meant for clinic go to waste

The bags of cement, which were being kept in a bar at Mbuyamaswa business centre



There is an outcry in Zaka Central after some 500 bags of cement meant for
Mbuyamaswa Clinic dried up due to what many feel to be a case of negligence and
poor management, TellZim can report.

The bags of cement,
which were being kept in a bar at Mbuyamaswa business centre,
were bought using money allocated under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF)
disbursement programme in 2018.

Zaka Rural District Council
(RDC) Ward 9 Councillor Moses Mutandavari confirmed the wastage saying the
cement could not be used in time as there was no money to pay workers.

He said the Ministry of
Health and Childcare promised to provide money to pay workers who would plaster
the building but the promises did not materialise.

 “The cement dried up since the workers stopped
working because they had not been paid. As a community, we used to mobilise our
own resources to pay the workers but it became more difficult with the Covid-19
outbreak and the resultant lockdown.

“We then had a meeting
with the Ministry of Health representatives together with Assistant District
Development Coordinator Mr. Zinanga and they promised us that the ministry was
going to take over all the work,” said Mutandavari.

He said the builders
could not continue as they had not been paid for the work that had already been

When contacted comment,
Zaka District Health Services Department Administrator Eliah Zimbwa
acknowledged that the ministry had promised to commit some resources but had
not expected the community to stop its own resource mobilisation efforts.

 “The ministry of health is supposed to fund
the project but we did not stop them from finishing up what they had started
because it was their project. The ministry came in to help the community and
they should continue working until the treasury releases some funds,” said

Assistant Zaka District
Development Coordinator (DDC) Victor Zinanga said he could not speak to the media
and referred questions to his boss Memory Dhliwayo who did not answer her

However, Zaka District
Medical Officer (DMO) Dr Mutero Mupereki said he was not sure about the actual
number of bags that had dried up saying the community failed to handle the
cement properly.

He said the community
was wrongly blaming the Ministry of Health for the loss when the people
themselves refused to lend the cement to Bailzone Mining Company which had
promised to replace the cement later on.

“I was indeed informed about
cement which dried up at Mbuyamaswa Clinic. People blame us but the contractors
and the community failed to utilize the cement in time. The structure was ready
for roofing but they could have prioritised plastering over roofing.

“At first, I talked to
a mining company called BailZone, which was prospecting in the Chiromo area, to
use the cement and replace it when we were ready to use it. I was later told
that the option was no longer viable as they were ready to use the cement. I
then told BailZone that we could no longer give them the cement, only to be
told later that the cement had dried up,” said Mupereki.

When contacted for
comment, Zaka Central Member of Parliament (MP) Davison Svuure said he is not
aware of any cement that dried up in his constituency.

“I have not heard of
any cement that dried up, who told you about that,” said Svuure.

Svuure’s predecessor, Paradzai
Chakona, who initiated the project when he was still MP, said it was painful
that such critical resources had gone to waste.

“I initiated the
construction of three clinics in Zaka Central and the other two are almost
complete while this particular one is still a long way to go. I am very disappointed
to hear that the cement was left to dry-up,”said Chakona.

Some community members
said Svuure had told people to stop contributing towards the payment of
workers, promising that he would source the money from government.

“Something similar
happened at the Four Miles Clinic project where community contributions were
paid back with promises that government would do the job. But there has never
been progress ever since,” claimed one community member.

Zaka district is one of
the most underdeveloped districts in the province where many people still
travel more than 10km to the nearest health facilities and schools.

The district has seen a
number of clinics being constructed in the past few years and most of them are
near completion.

In Zaka Central
constituency, three clinics namely Four Miles, Mbuyamaswa and Tovane are under

as clinic project faces new challenges

The Mbuyamaswa Clinic
project, whose construction has been on hold since last year owing to the
lockdown and none payment of wages, is now facing new challenges related to
roofing material specifications needed for the release of new funding.

The project, which was
initiated by the community, got funding from the government through the Ministry
of Health and Child Care and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and
National Housing.

Zaka District Medical
Officer (DMO) Dr Mutero Mupepereki told TellZim that the Ministry of Health and
Child Care could not provide new funding unless the Department of Public Works
specified what was needed at every stage of construction.

“We do to work alone as
a ministry. We work with government departments in other ministries, and in
this case, we work with the Public Works department which knows what is needed.
Our job is just to procure what would have been recommended by the department,”
said Mupereki.

He said he was not sure
as to when the work could resume at the project since the Department of Public
Works had not provided the bill of quantities as yet.

“I am not sure when
construction will continue. Right now, we are waiting for the list of materials
so that we do the quotations,” Mupepereki said.

A source, however, said
the Department of Public Works had no skilled manpower to draw the list of what
was now needed.

“The clinic will not be
completed any time soon because there are no carpenters and other artisans who
can quantify the requirements and give the list to the Ministry of Health.
Judging by the tiresome bureaucracy in government offices,
the procurement will most likely take a lot more time,” said the source.

TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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