Thieves break into Marula Clinic, steal solar panels

Marula Clinic in Mangwe District, Matabeleland South has been plunged into darkness after thieves broke into the health facility Thursday night and stole a set of solar panels which were a source of energy for the centre, CITE has established.

In a message widely circulated on social media, a member of the community appealed for assistance in the recovery of the stolen panels and batteries.

“Whoever might have seen or spotted someone carrying solar panels should notify us as soon as possible,” said the community member.

“Maybe we can apprehend this person today. So please we request that you spread this message so that we can catch this person who stole our solar panels here at Marula Clinic. This is a very sad development. I am devastated by what is happening in Marula. Just help us please.”

Mangwe District Medical Officer (DMO) Dr Joe Nganunu, confirmed the unfortunate incident, which he said would negatively affect the clinic’s operations.

“Yes, I can confirm that Marula Clinic solar panels were stolen; I am yet to get the actual number,” said Dr Nganunu.

“It’s actually quite a challenge because when there is no power now, we know that some of our vaccines need some cold storage and that will definitely be affected.”

He said it was unfortunate that public assets like clinics were being targeted by thieves.

“Almost all of our health facilities have solar panels and we are seeing a trend of thieves breaking in and stealing those solar panels.”

He said the development needed serious attention by members of the community.

“These solar panels were actually benefiting the community as a whole and the fact that they are being stolen now, it is the community that is being disadvantaged,” decried Dr Nganunu.

“So we are just appealing to the community to say if they find out or they know these perpetrators they should report. We are also trying to make sure that even at community level they might just come up with the neighbourhood watch committees so that they can assist us as the Ministry of Health.”

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