Mpilo Hospital boss secures contract extension despite reaching retirement age

Dr Narcisius Dzvanga’s contract as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo, was ‘surreptitiously’ extended to 2024, despite him reaching his retirement age in December.

Dr Dzvanga, a former acting Chief Executive Officer at United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH), was appointed last year as the substantive CMO at Mpilo Central Hospital.

His appointment, however, caused an uproar as some activists felt the government had overlooked the hospital’s Clinical Medical Director, Professor Solwayo Ngwenya, who had been acting in that position and had applied for the post.


Messages about the renewal of Dr Dzvanga’s contract were shared on social media last week, although hospital insiders sounded unhappy about it.

One of the messages, apparently from Dr Dzvanga, read: “May I also take this opportunity to advise those that were already celebrating the end of my tenure on December ‘23, that fortunately or unfortunately my tenure as CMO at Mpilo had already been extended to December ’24. Please put back on the shelves all the champagne 🍾 bottles that you had bought in anticipation of my retirement. 😆 🤣. Better luck next time ⏲️😆 🤣.”

Dr Dzvanga confirmed in an interview with CITE that his contract had been extended by his employer, the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

“Yes my contract was extended in August but I kept the news to myself until last week. I was planning to retire on 23 December this year but my employer thinks I am still useful, hence they extended my contract,” he said.

However, hospital sources who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation, claimed his contract was renewed by “his friends” in the Ministry of Health and had nothing to do with his service, claiming that standards at Mpilo were decreasing.

“His friends are the VP (Constantino Chiwenga), former Deputy minister (Dr John Mangwiro) and former permanent secretary (Dr Jasper Chimedza), who before they were removed from that portfolio had extended his contract,” alleged the sources.

Sources claimed the health care situation at Mpilo was “deteriorating rapidly” while “the hospital executives appear unable to control the situation.”

“One of the officials at the hospital even said, ‘the place smells and feels like corruption and incompetence.’ Most likely the executives are misabusing hospital funds because patients are not given medication but are made to buy their own prescription and that is corruption,” claimed the sources. 

The sources added that the decay at the referral hospital indicated the institution lacked leadership. 

“The state of Mpilo is bad, public toilets are filthy and the mortuary is decaying while a part of its wall even collapsed. Patients are dying in large numbers and the mortality rate has increased dramatically since Dzvanga took over,” alleged one of the sources. 

“The longer Dzvanga stays, more people will die because maternal deaths have gone up. The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) used to be 210, having been reduced by 70 percent as was reported by ZBC but now it has gone to 360 and that is bad. These are young women who are dying in less than a year when he took over. Staff morale is poor, there is indiscipline and when Dzvanga leaves, there will be a party.”

When asked about the state of health care at Mpilo, Dr Dzvanga acknowledged it was not the best but was improving.

“You want me to say things are getting worse when I got there or that I am likely to say that but I will say the opposite, it is not the best but we are slowly improving,” said Dr Dzvanga.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button