By Desmond Chingarande
Prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has joined thousands of disgruntled health workers and ordinary citizens in calling for Health minister Obadiah Moyo to be fired from government over alleged incompetence and mishandling of the US$60 million tender for procurement of COVID-19 test kits.
Mtetwa’s petition to Mnangagwa, which was signed by 17 899 Zimbabweans, was copied to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda.
Health workers have, on several occasions, called on Mnangagwa to fire Moyo.
The prominent human rights lawyer said Moyo had dismally failed to discharge his duties as expected of a Health minister, including giving misleading statements on the country’s state of preparedness for the COVID-19, resulting in erratic, unco-ordinated interventions and spike in infections.
“We, the Concerned Citizens of Zimbabwe, hereby petition you, Your Excellency, to relieve and dismiss, with immediate effect, the Honourable Obadiah Moyo, from his portfolio as the Minister of Health and Child Care whose tenure at the ministry has been an unmitigated disaster,” the petition read.
“We bring this petition as citizens of Zimbabwe both within and outside Zimbabwe who have been negatively impacted by the decline in the health delivery system since Moyo took over this important portfolio.”
“Having been closely monitoring how Moyo has failed to handle genuine grievances of health professionals across the board, we are concerned at the continued deterioration of the public health delivery system under the stewardship of Honourable Obadiah Moyo,” she said.
“On February 3, 2020, the Honourable Obadiah Moyo assured the nation, through the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health that Zimbabwe was fully prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic and having noted the dismal failure to adequately prepare for the virus, thus leading to erratic and unco-ordinated interventions that have led to avoidable death and infections.
“He has failed to ensure that all public health institutions have adequate stocks of drugs and other necessary medical materials.
“He has failed to ensure the setting up of affordable, accessible and properly staffed testing centres. He has failed to make adequate and acceptable arrangements for returnees who have been subjected to unsanitary quarantine conditions.”
Mtetwa further said Moyo failed to ensure the constant and adequate availability of personal protective equipment for all health professionals on the frontline of the pandemic and to ensure that returnees are equally protected from contracting the virus at such centres.
Moyo was last week granted $50 000 bail following his arrest on allegations of unprocedurally awarding a COVID-19 equipment tender to suspected criminal Delish Nguwaya of Drax International. News Day