By Nqobile Tshili
Thieves broke into Dandanda Clinic in Lupane, Matabeleland North and stole 10 solar panels that were used to power the local primary health institution.
The theft occurred on Saturday at about 1AM, leaving the clinic in darkness.
The solar system was also used to pump water to the clinic.
Authorities have expressed concern that a health time bomb was looming in the local authority as the clinic cannot function without water.
Lupane District Medical Officer Dr George Mutizira confirmed the theft.
“We have lost 10 solar panels to thieves which is now threatening water supplies to the clinic. The water pumping system was solar powered which means there will be no water for the staff and the clinic because a clinic cannot run without water, especially with this kind of situation we are having where people need to constantly wash their hands.
“So, it is a very difficult situation. We also have mothers, who deliver at night and we no longer have lights. The situation is so demoralising and it puts patients’ lives at risk,” said Dr Mutizira.
He said police have since started investigating the matter. “We are hoping that the perpetrators will be caught and the panels will be recovered,” he said. The Chronicle