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 South Africa bears the brunt of Zimbabwe’s comatose health sector

MARCUS MUSHONGA

THE hospitalisation of Zimbabwean opposition leader and former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, in South Africa mirrors the collapse of Zimbabwe’s once esteemed health system.

Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC), was this weekend reported to be battling for life at an undisclosed hospital.

Last year, he disclosed he was suffering colon cancer.

His health deteriorated while he was attending a meeting in Kadoma, some 200km west of the capital Harare.

Tsvangirai (aged 65) is the latest Zimbabwean politician to seek treatment in the neighbouring country – South Africa.

Last month, Vice President Emmerson Mnangawagwa spent some time at a hospital in Johannesburg after he was reportedly poisoned in health scare linked to the raging conflict on the succession of President Robert Mugabe.

This coincided with Mugabe’s controversial wife, Grace, seeking treatment in South Africa for a leg injury sustained in a minor car accident. She triggered a diplomatic standoff during the period after allegedly assaulting a South African model.

Some government ministers, including some now deceased, have also sought treatment in South Africa.

A number of company executives have also joined the fray, leaving impoverished majority Zimbabweans to contend with ill-equipped hospitals that are short of drugs and have suffered an exodus of qualified personnel.

Experts said the trend highlighted the failure of policies by the government of Mugabe, in power since independence when it took over a thriving economy in 1980.

“This is a clear indication Mugabe’s government has failed the nation.

The glaring evidence of mismanaged economy always manifests itself through exposition and reflection by top officials running away from their country when in sick,” medical practitioner Paul-Nzwanayi Kadiki, said.

He added, “Politicians are not ashamed of ruining their own healthcare systems yet are the first to go abroad for treatment.”

Mugabe has frequented some Asian nations following undisclosed illnesses. – CAJ News

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