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Hwende blasts Harare Council: Fix Wilkins Hospital and mourn Zororo

By Staff Writer

MDC Secretary-General Chalton Hwende has told the Harare City Council to accept responsibility for the poor state of facilities at the Council-owned Wilkins Hospital and fix the mess for the benefit of every resident, while also urging the opposition MDC family to join the Makamba family in mourning the loss of Zororo Makamba to Covid-19.

Makamba died while in the care of Wilkins Hospital, leading to accusations and counter accusations between his family and the City of Harare as well as Government.

“Harare City Council challenges anyone with information on council officials at Wilkins Hospital who demanded money and equipment from the Makamba family. We state categorically that our staff never made any such demands and that they did all they could to save Zororo‘s life,” the Council said in a statement on Twitter.

The statement drew anger from several residents, including Kuwadzana legislation Chalton Hwende (MDC Alliance) who ordered the Council to put its house on order.

“This kind of tweet is unhelpful accept the criticism and fix Wilkins so that our people can be treated when they get admitted at Wilkins. The Makambas have lost a son let’s mourn with them,” said Hwende.

The City Council backed off, but still insisted they did their best to ensure that the deceased received medical care.

Said Council in response: “The Mayor, Councillors and management join the Makamba family in mourning Zororo. One life lost is too many. We however feel there are desktop commentators with no idea what the inside of Wilkins looks like who are commenting based on false information.

“(Wilkins has) No ventilators. Toilets available. water is there. Since the outbreak the hospital has been attending to suspected cases and successfully doing so.

“Ladies and gentlemen lets focus our energies on what we can do as a nation to manage the further spread of COVID -19. Name calling and pouring out anger will just keep us in one place. Together we will perish if we do not proffer solutions.”

Also responding to the statements by the City Council, MDC Secretary for Elections Jacob Mafume, who is also a Harare City Councillor, said equipment was needed at Wilkins and other hospitals across the country.

“As the chair of Human Resources, I can confirm, the staff are there, and they are working, reporting for duty and we thank them for that. It is a difficult time for them. They have been trained and are training other towns and government departments. They need support and equipment.

“We take the critism with the good faith it has been made. Any loss of life regrettable and we need to pull together to fix what needs to be fixed at Wilkins Hospital and other center across the country. We need equipment sooner rather later,” Mafume said.

Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba yesterday dismissed the concerns raised by the family of the late Zororo Makamba that the Council-owned Wilkins Hospital was not ready for handling Covid-19 cases.

MDC president Nelson Chamisa visited the Wilkins Hospital in Harare last week and also said he was impressed by the state of preparedness at the Council-owned facility, but the Makamba family narrated shocking details which revealed that the facility was nothing more than a death trap.

Speaking to a Zimbabwean news website Health Times, Harare mayor Herbert Gomba said Wilkins Hospital was ready to handle coronavirus patients. 

“Residents must know we have measures to mitigate the effects of the corona pandemic, recruited 60 environmental officers on contract, made $10 million ready for use, have testing kits, protective clothes and our staff to work long hours, ” said Gomba.

However, family of the late prominent broadcaster Zororo Makamba has issued a terse statement to media following his passing on due to COVID-19 at a Harare hospital on Monday 23 March. 

The 30-year-old Makamba had visited New York where he spent three weeks. Upon his return to the Zimbabwean capital of Harare, Makamba started exhibiting cold symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. 

According to his brother Tawanda, who has been the family spokesperson during the bereavement, Makamba’s condition deteriorated within a week of his return from the United States (US) and he was hospitalised at Wilkins Hospital on 21 March.

He passed away Monday afternoon, and authorities say his condition was aggravated by underlying heart disease conditions. He became Zimbabwe’s first officially confirmed Covid-19 casualty. – Zimbabwe Voice

If you suspect COVID-19 infection or wish to obtain more information on this disease, please call the Ministry of Health and Child Care on toll free hotline number 2019 for assistance.

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