Council to set up makeshift clinic in Emganwini

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is in the process of turning a residential house in Emganwini suburb into a makeshift clinic as part of the efforts to bring primary health care services closer to residents.  

The suburb has been operating without a clinic forcing residents to seek health services in neighbouring wards.

This follows an appeal by the two residents’ associations, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) and Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA) for council to construct a clinic in the ward.

According to the recent council report of the finance and development committee, the department through a meeting with residents from Emganwini Suburb had received a request for the construction of a clinic.

“The Chairman (BURA) informed the meeting that there was no health facility at Emganwini suburb, following a residents meeting they agreed that there was a need for a clinic to provide health care services to the people of Emganwini suburb and its surroundings,” read the minutes.

The residents approached their local Member of Parliament Phelela Masuku who indicated that he could assist source funding amounting to ZWL$3 800 000  for the construction of the clinic through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).   

“The residents further agreed to make donations to the construction of the clinic and also to approach various organizations and individuals to make contributions to the project.  The Chairman explained that the clinic was to be constructed on a Council site earmarked for a clinic and hence the clinic was to remain a Council property and residents were partnering Council in the construction,” read the minutes.

However, after consultation with the director of Housing and Community Services Dictor Khumalo, the department established that the cost of constructing a clinic was US$3 million and hence ZWL3.8 million was insufficient to complete the project.   

“The Director of Housing and Community Services further advised that constructing the clinic in stages was costly as there were various overhead costs that could be incurred including security costs.   The advice from the Director of Housing and Community Services was that the Emganwini Clinic project had not been included in the Devolution funds allocated for the 2022 project and hence it was prudent to channel resources to a project that could be completed such as a satellite clinic,” read the report.

Discussing the matter, Councillor Donaldson Mabuto sought clarification on the report.   

“He noted that the letter in the report was not very clear.  He supported that the matter is referred back to the Committee and be resubmitted to Council with adequate information,” read the minutes.

The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mlandu Ncube supported the proposal that the matter is deferred back to the Committee and be re-submitted to Council with adequate information.   

“He also encouraged the ward Councillor and the Director of Health Services to engage the Member of Parliament.”

In response the Director of Health Services Dr Edwin Sibanda confirmed that the letter had been received from the two residents’ associations BURA and BPRA, building a Clinic was very expensive therefore a house had been identified for renovations.

“Once the renovations were completed the house would be turned into a makeshift clinic.  The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) had timelines. A resolution was needed urgently,” read the report.

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