OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) president Nelson Chamisa has said reviving the country’s deteriorating health system is one of his top priorities once elected into power during the August 23 elections.
Chamisa who was speaking during his party’s rally in Silobela on Friday said it’s insensitive for the country’s leaders to seek medical attention in foreign countries and eventually dying in those country’s after they would have neglected their own health systems back home.
Former President Robert Mugabe died in Singapore where he frequented for medical check-ups and treatments while Vice-president Constatino Chiwenga has in the past received extensive medical treatment an unknown illness in China, South Africa and India.
“Our hospitals must not be death traps, our hospitals must save lives. What we have on the ground currently is very saddening. We have a crumbled health system which has been allowed to collapse following years of neglect.
“Our leaders whenever they want medical attention they travel to South Africa, they travel to India. That will not be happening in our new government, we are going to restore our health systems so that we will retain our doctors who fled the country due to poor working conditions caused by an incompetent government,” Chamisa said.
“I find it strange that African doctors prefer to die in foreign countries where they will be seeking better treatment while they allow their own health systems to collapse,” he said.
CCC supporters chanting party slogans during a political rally on Friday
Chamisa said Silobela, a village in Kwekwe District in the Midlands Province, is mineral rich and if the resources from various gold mines are to be used equitably they will be used in capacitating health facilities in the area.
“We have enough mineral resources here in Silobela to capacitate our Silobela District Hospital so that it will be a modern and state of the art hospital,” he said.
“We have 60 minerals in our country and those are enough to transform lives across the country, however, those resources are benefitting a few elites. Despite having gold deposits here in Silobela, people are impoverished. I was in Gokwe, despite it being a cotton hub, people there move around in rags, that’s because there is no leadership,” he said.
Chamisa said once elected his government will pursue devolution.
“We want local people to determine how best they can develop their communities using resources in their localities. We are going to change the mind-set of saying everything must happen in Harare. We want to devolve power for sustainable development,” he said.
“We want to address the issue of rural upliftment. Our rural areas must be modernised and transformed. We will have a policy called MATURA (Modernisation, Agenda for the Transformation and Urbanisation of Rural Areas),” he added..
The opposition leader said his government once elected will cut government spending.
“We will have a meritocratic government of 15 ministers or less. That does not only cut government spending but also brings effectiveness in running a government. If a minister fails to deliver we will replace him,” he said.