Zimbabwe’s main opposition party MDC Alliance has raised a middle finger at the Harare administration gatvol of its appointment of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as the new minister of Health and Child Care.
The MDC Alliance said the government lamely appointed Chiwenga to lead a ministry which delivers services that he personally does not trust.
Chiwenga is always airlifted to foreign nations for medical attention, mainly in China.
“The appointment as Min of Health of an unqualified sick man who’s routinely airlifted abroad for medical care is a slap in the face to Zimbabweans who deserve proper leadership during this Covid19 pandemic”,
“We object to this gross display of incompetence. #ZimbabweanLivesMatter” wrote the MDC Alliance.
According Alex Tawanda Magaisa a United Kingdom based Zimbabwean academic and lecturer of law at the Kent Law School of the University of Kent, the appointment of VP Chiwenga to the ministry is a death knell for the already derelict sector that has been dogged by labour unrest.
He added that the regime might be pulling a fast one VP Chiwenga’s political career.
“The Ministry of Health is a pit full of Black Mambas, with potential to cause political death”,
“Did Rtd General Constantino Chiwenga jump in or was he pushed?”,
“A man who regularly flies to China for private treatment now oversees a decrepit public healthcare system he doesn’t use” he said.
Dumisani Muleya a media practitioner said the move to appoint Chiwenga the ministry of Health and Child Care portfolio is more of a political appeasement and gamesmanship than a motive to serve.
“l am tired of commenting on Mnangagwa and his rule, but then look who he has appointed Health Minister: Constantino Chiwenga, his co-deputy”,
“All simply because he wants to appease him for his own political survival. But appeasement doesn’t work in high-stakes political brinksmanship”,
“That won’t end their vicious power struggle over the unsettled Zanu PF leadership question. Got to be naive to think it will” said Muleya.
However,George Charamba spokesperson to the President( Emerson Mnangagwa) said the move to appoint Chiwenga to oversee the ministry was prudent considering that Chiwenga has been admitted to different health facilities where he got vital experience.
“He has a wealth of experience, having visited several medical facilities locally, regionally and abroad, after suffering from various ailments over the last few years”,
“He is a model patient and thus is most suitable for this position. He knows all the machines and medicines used in hospitals first hand” said Charamba
President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed Vice President (VP) Constantino Chiwenga as new Minister of Health and Child Care taking over from former minister Obadiah Moyo whom was fired by Mnangagwa last month over corruption allegations.
Chiwenga now doubles as VP and health minister.
Misheck Sibanda, the chief secretary to the president and cabinet, confirmed the appointment of Chiwenga in a statement.
Chiwenga’s appointment was with immediate effect.
“In making this decision, His Excellency the President has noted the urgent need to stabilize, restructure and reform the national health delivery system to better cope with challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and in the process, ensuring a quick turn around in national health care,” read the statement.
Chiwenga takes charge of a ministry currently bedevilled by challenges including the ongoing strike by doctors and nurses demanding better pay, as well as shortage of equipment and drugs amid a spike in COVID-19 infections in the country.
The COVID-19 dashboard as of 04 August 2020 showed that Covid-19 related deaths in Zimbabwe had risen to 80.
Whilst the cumulative number of confirmed cases rose to 4,075 after 154 cases (all local infections) were reported.