PRESIDENT Mnangagwa said yesterday that Bulawayo will not be forgotten as the government implements developmental programs across the country, declaring that the days of centralized growth, or “bambazonke,” are gone.
This is consistent with his pledge, made when he was elected President in 2017 and again after winning the 2018 elections, that no one will be left behind in the country’s development agenda, which aims to promote equal resource distribution through devolution.
On the backdrop of alleged historical marginalization and underdevelopment of the Matabeleland region in particular, the President has walked the talk on his pledge that no one will be left behind as the government works to bring enthusiasm to the southern region.
Since the coming of the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa, a number of high-impact projects have either been initiated in the region or are being completed at an accelerated speed.
Some of the major projects that have been accelerated under the Second Republic include the century-old dream to permanently solve the Matabeleland region’s water problems through the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP), the completion of the Matabeleland North Provincial Hospital among other key projects.
President Mnangagwa donated an ambulance to United Bulawayo Hospitals yesterday
The 50-bed isolation and treatment centre is a culmination of Government’s efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 through the provision of sound health care infrastructure and provision of improved treatment and care services.
Treasury released $103 million towards the renovation and upgrading of Bartley Memorial Block into the isolation center while Arundel Sakunda Group complemented the government in establishing the facility.
The orthopaedic centre on the other hand, a first of its kind at a national public hospital, was a result of a public-private partnership between the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe Orthopaedic Trust and Cure International and will offer free procedures to children under the age of 18.
The centre will improve access to special orthopaedic surgery and corrective care for children with conditions such as clubfoot, bowed legs, knock knees, rickets and cerebral palsy among other health challenges.
At full capacity, the facility is targeting to conduct more than 2 000 procedures a year.
“Bulawayo Omuhle, the days of Bambazonke are over, you will not be left behind anymore,” said President Mnangagwa to wild cheers and applause.
“Our commitment to complete and deliver high impact projects which prioritise the needs of the people are ongoing, with greater urgency.
The President said the opening of the two centres was testimony that the bold and strategic decision by the Second Republic to stabilise, restructure and reform the public health sector was yielding fruits.
This is in view of the need to put in place critical building blocks towards achieving the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS-1), Vision 2030,” said President Mnangagwa.
“My Government will indeed leave no stone unturned to ensure that all the people, in all parts of the country, enjoy a better quality of life.”
President Mnangagwa said yesterday’s event was a precursor to his tour of companies in Bulawayo which he said comes at the opportune time ahead of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in July.
“The attendant insights from the two-day visit to companies in Bulawayo will undoubtedly help to inform and enrich my Government’s perspectives with regards to the transformation and modernisation of industries in Bulawayo as we develop and grow the economy,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said sustainable development that leaves no one behind is a collective process which involves all stakeholders.
He said the orthopaedic centre will contribute to new standards in the provision of health care through the improvement in the quality of services and introduction of new tertiary care services.
This, the President said, is in sync with the Second Republic’s thrust to deliver a public health care system envisioned in the Health Sector Coordination Framework and the United Nations Universal Coverage aspirations.
“The provision of free surgeries to children with correctable disabilities enhances access to specialised medical health care. Furthermore, evangelism and counselling services will attend to the spiritual needs of patients and their guardians.
“These interventions help fight stigma and discrimination, while restoring a sense of dignity and inclusion for beneficiaries of the facility.
The virtues of humanity, love, care and empathy for the disadvantaged and vulnerable members of society must continue to be rooted and promoted in our communities,” said President Mnangagwa.
“The decision by the Zimbabwe Orthopaedic Trust to provide capacity building and training in orthopaedics to staff here at the United Bulawayo Hospitals speaks to my administration’s drive to fill the manpower skills gap through specialised education and training. I exhort health services staff to maximise the opportunities from this initiative to acquire broader knowledge and competencies.”
President Mnangagwa invited the Zimbabwe Orthopaedic Trust and similar organisations to ride on the ongoing focus on research and innovation in higher and tertiary education to deepen synergies and strengthen the national response to the ever-changing health sector realities.
President Mnangagwa commended the gesture and act of good corporate citizenship by the Arundel Sakunda Group in the isolation centre as he paid tribute to the support Government received from the private sector following the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country last year.
“This collaboration and unity of purpose must continue across all national, social and economic endeavours…I thus invite other private sector entities to continue to utilise the health sector coordinated framework, as we build sustainable institutions and systems for the post Covid-19 era,” he said.
“I challenge other organisations and professionals both within the country and abroad, in various medical specialist fields, to also take up the challenge as we accelerate the modernisation of our health services sector.”
The President urged health service workers to continue upholding their professional oath and the values of hard honest work and integrity.
“The principles of good public administration as outlined in our Constitution should consistently inform and guide us as we implement national programmes and projects. The culture and nature of the Second Republic is servant leadership. To this, there should never be any deviation,” he said.
President Mnangagwa commended Zimbabweans for vigilance in the fight against Covid-19 while urging the nation to get vaccinated against the virus as, “no one is safe until everyone is safe.”