The Lupane Youth for Development has raised alarm about the worrying state of Dongamuzi Clinic in the district, which is suffering due to neglect and underfunding.
Despite several promises to the Lupane community that Dongamuzi Clinic was a priority by the government, the youth organisation has lamented that up to date, nothing has materialised as the facility’s infrastructure remains critical.
As a way of drawing attention to the state of the clinic, the organisation pointed out that in 2017, the clinic was identified as one of the six rural health centres, alongside Mbuya Maswa, Chiromo in Zaka, Chibila in Binga, Siyabuwa in Gokwe and Munemo in Nyanga to receive part of the US$26.7 million that was allocated by Treasury in the national budget to rehabilitate central, provincial and district hospitals.
But that year passed with no action.
The organisation also made reference to remarks made in 2020 by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube who announced the clinic’s construction as one of the projects prioritised by the country’s National Development Strategy (NDS1) for completion in 2021.
This again yielded nothing.
In 2020 Lupane District Council Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Tshuma was also reported saying the council had mobilised resources for the construction of Dongamuzi.
Tshuma’s sentiments were made after the opening of the Tshongogwe Clinic in the district.
“Dongamuzi residents walk 41km to reach the nearest clinic -Mdlankunzi. The distance between Mdlankunzi and Tshongogwe clinic is 36 km, so it means some people walk 18 km,” the organisation said.
The organisation added that Dongamuzi clinic does not have a waiting mothers’ structure, and the nearest health centre is St Luke’s hospital, which is 120km away.
“It costs US$10 to travel there by bus,” said the youth organisation.
Commenting on the state of Dongamuzi Clinic, a political analyst, Future Msebele Zulu said the failure to develop Dongamuzi exposed the government’s false promises.
“What is happening at Dongamuzi Clinic is a microcosm of Zanu PF’s governance. This so-called Second Republic is nothing but a replica of the First, full of promises and nothing concrete has been achieved. The people of Lupane were told that Dongamuzi Clinic was a priority and up to date nothing has materialised,” he said.
Zulu noted that the clinic is not a new or isolated case, as other projects were still incomplete despite receiving assurances from the government.
“We have Nkayi road, which has been talked about for decades and many other projects which are talked about every election season. Surely our people deserve better. Our people are now used to being abused,” he said, warning communities to be wary of promises that come in the electoral campaign season.
However, the analyst praised the many communities who were now building their own clinics and schools in their respective jurisdictions.
“This shows that our people have given up on government and it is a matter of time before people demand a government of the people, by the people for the people,” Zulu said.
Zulu ended by saying if the national government is failing to complete Dongamuzi project or simply does not prioritise the building of the clinic, “then the other option would be to immediately release devolution funds.”