BULAWAYO – The late Vice President Joseph Msika and John Landa Nkomo have been fingered as key ZANU PF officials who contributed to the failure of the Ekusileni Medical Clinic, a $2.3 million health facility constructed by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) for the Matabeleland community Public/Private sector Partnership.
These revelations were made by the NSSA General Manager Mr James Matiza at a recent Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service Labour and Social Services.
“The late Vice President Joseph Msika made it clear that a representative from his office be represented in every meeting discussing the health institution, subsequently VP Nkomo requested the same. We made various efforts to make sure that the facility is open to the public but the two VPs blocked us without giving adequate reasons”, said Mr Matiza
These revelations came after the committee expressed dissatisfaction in the manner in which NSSA has failed to meet its mandate to manage social security schemes as guided by the National Social Security Act as the authority took a massive investment stance in the money market and real estate sectors.
Mr Matiza further indicated that CBZ is holding its $6 million contribution until the Zimbabwe Health Care Trust (ZHCT) meets its $12 million contribution that will see the health facility opening its doors to the public.
In the presentation to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, NSSA indicated that the authority could not straighten out the political rudiments.
“We could not untangle the political elements and therefore surrendered the hospital to the ministry”, indicated Mr Matiza.
Ekusileni Medical Clinic was built in 2000 as a specialist hospital through the inspiration of the late Dr Nkomo upon the realisation that thousands of Zimbabweans forked out huge sums of money in search of treatment in neighbouring South Africa.
In 2004 the institution closed down following discoveries that, under the guidance of the Zimbabwe Health Trust (ZHCT), the institution had acquired absolete equipment worth millions of dollars.
Apart from purchasing absolete equipment, the institution failed to meet the minimum standards of operation set by the Ministry of Health and Child Care. If opened, the institution is set to run 23 departments with 157 beds.
Last year, EMC, attracted the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), which is currently involved in the dualisation of the Plumtree-Mutare highway. The bank was interested in injecting $80 million to revive the now white elephant project as it has been idle for more than a decade now.
It has led efforts to re-open the medical facility for over a decade in vain as the massive health institution located in the Hillside suburb of Bulawayo remains a white elephant.
Over the years NSSA presided over failed investments including $50 million dollars in capital bank and $25 million in CFX. The authority is also set to invest in a microfinance bank for its housing project.
“Our parent ministry has already agreed to that and currently we are waiting for a licence to proceed with the plan as guided by our 2010-2019 project development plan.”
Members of the committee felt that the authority was violating the NSSA Act as it has failed to pay meaningful pensions to senior citizens.