Zimbabwe's Health Minister's Wife Struggles In A State Hospital

David Parirenyatwa (right), Zimbabwe's Health Minister, seen here with Christopher Dell, then US Ambassador to Zimbabwe. He is struggling to buy medical supplies for his wife, who was injured in a car accident

Dr Parirenyatwa, Zimbabwe's current (and illegal) health minister, came face to face with the collapse of the health system last week after his wife was hit in a car accident, sustaining injuries to her leg and ribs.

Parirenyatwa first took his wife to The Avenues Clinic, the private hospital in Harare that is still totally functional. When they demanded upfront payment of US$2000, which he could not afford, he took his wife to Parirenyatwa hospital, named after the Health Minister's late father.

Sources at the state hospital, once one of the best hospitals in Africa, say the Health Minister's wife is still at the hospital and he was still trying to come up with the money needed to buy special "wires" to mend the fractures his wife sustained in the accident. Doctors can't operate until these are available. There are none at the state hospitals, so Parirenyatwa has to buy them himself.

The staff there have their own grievances against the minister, whom they say is blocking an offer from the Global Fund to pay medical staff directly in foreign currency. But they are also not too happy that, after his wife was admitted, the Health Minister brought in a kilogramme of beef and asked staff to prepare that for his wife. "What about everyone else in all these wards who is eating boiled cabbage and sadza? Should we prepare beef for his wife while everyone else eats cabbage?" asked one senior nurse at the hospital.

Parirenyatwa has been very candid of late about the state of collapse that the system is in and it is ironic that he should be experiencing this first hand.  I could not establish today whether the minister has finally found the money to buy the supplies needed to med his wife's leg and ribs. Without them, the doctors can not even operate o the woman.

This story only serves to illustrate that the financial crisis in the country is now touching even Mugabe's own circle, people who have been doing nicely  all along, with access to cheap foreign currency and the good things in life.

Before long, buying the loyalty of this Praetorian Guard is going to get increasingly difficult for Mugabe and that is when things start to get interesting. The hitherto rumblings of discontent are soon to turn into howls. Then when this inner circle lives like we live, they will realise that they have all along been protecting the worm as it ate away at the core of the apple.


Comments

  1. Politics aside, the minister's wife is a very good family friend and I wish her well. No one would ever wish such a horrific accident to happen to anyone else. She is one of the hard working women not only in Zimbabwe but Africa.

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  2. Things fall apart and the centre can not hold. The politics of patronage is well past and gone. Its no longer just a matter of when but how will the end happen. A pity that the opposition is poorly led and can not inspire people to take the decisive action. The whole country and economy is on auto-pilot and all Mugabe and his cronies are now just doing is damage limitation. We just hope that SADC will be there to provide a soft landing for us.

    What we should now be lobbying the SADC, AU and UN is to encourage our neighbouring countries to set up well resourced refugee camps for our people to escape to as the worst is yet to come I'm afraid! Lafa elihle.

    Langa

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  3. Quite right, Darlington. No one would wish such a horrific incident on anyone and we all do wish her well.

    Yet we must all admit that when it has to come to this, then Mugabe should really be read the riot act by his own people within ZPF.

    Parirenyatwa is perhaps one of the cleaner ZANOIDS. I would be very surprised if he used violence in his own parliamentary campaign. There are people like that you see. Remember Makoni himself?

    Remember how when he ran in March, violence, which had plagued every single election, suddenly disappeared, only to resurface when he was out of the race.

    I believe that people like Makoni and perhaps Dr Pari himself, have the effect of making violent ZANOIDS ashamed to use violence. It is one of the reasons why I am still working with Makoni. I KNOW for a fact that he would never be another Mugabe, using violence and coercion to retain power. This I am actually willing to bet all my worldly possessions on!

    We wish the good lady a speedy recovery: hopefully she can be home for Christmas

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