SCORES of patients in Mberengwa district now travel to Bulawayo to access X-ray facilities as the underhand dealings involving misappropriation of public funds amounting to $700 000 at Mnene Mission Hospital worsened the situation, Mberengwa North legislator Tafanana Zhou has said.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Zanu PF provincial electoral directorate meeting in Gweru on Wednesday, Zhou said the misuse of public funds was affecting access to health facilities by people, not only in his constituency, but the district as a whole.
Zhou unearthed the rot at Mnene last May, when he had gone on a fact-finding mission on the water problems the institution was facing.
It later emerged that a dubious company involved in supermarket businesses, Food Miles, had been awarded a $700 000 tender to refurbish buildings and supply medical equipment to the health institution.
“It is quite unfortunate that people in Mberengwa district have to travel as far as Bulawayo to access X-ray facilities,” Zhou said.
“Had the $700 000 scam which is now under police investigation not occurred, that money could have been invested and we could probably have had at least two blocks erected at the hospital, an outpatients department and a mortuary.”
Zhou said those implicated in the fraud should be apprehended as a matter of urgency since their actions had aggravated the water crisis at the hospital.
Police have since confirmed launching investigations into the siphoned money received in 2011 as part of government funds to revive the health sector.