By Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu
Fired United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) chief executive officer Mrs Nonhlanhla Ndlovu has been on leave and outside the country since the start of the national Covid-19 lockdown on March 30.
UBH’s clinical director Dr Narcacius Dzvanga has been acting chief executive officer at the institution which is one of Zimbabwe’s six central hospitals during a time of crisis when leadership was most needed in fighting the Covid-19
The 650-bed referral hospital caters for the southern region which includes Bulawayo, Midlands, Masvingo, Matabeleland North and South provinces.
The death of a 79-year-old woman from Covid-19 at the health institution three weeks ago resulted in 97 nurses being quarantined.
About 18 nurses have tested Covid-19 positive at UBH.
The Health Services Board (HSB) announced on Sunday that Mrs Ndlovu together with four other chief executive officers including Mr Leonard Mabandi who was heading Ingutsheni Central Hospital had been dismissed as part of a restructuring exercise.
Mr Ernest Manyawu of Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Dr Tinashe Dhobbie of Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, Dr Enock Mayida of Chitungwiza Central Hospital were also fired.
In an interview, Mrs Ndlovu said she learnt from a friend about her dismissal as she was still on leave and out of the country since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.
She also dispelled speculation that she was on suspension as the clinical director Dr Narcacius Dzvanga had been acting since the beginning of lockdown.
“I was not on suspension as I am actually on leave. I’m still out of the country with my family and I discovered about my dismissal on Sunday when a friend alerted me,” said Mrs Ndlovu.
“Regarding HSB terminating all CEOs contracts, not just those in Bulawayo, you must ask HSB for their reasons. I have no further comments.”
Mrs Ndlovu was appointed as UBH CEO in 2014.
Contacted for comment, Mr Mabandi said he was not yet ready to comment on the issue.
Mr Mabandi joined Ingutsheni this year after serving at Mpilo Central Hospital as chief executive officer for about five years.
He was transferred to Ingutsheni in April this year and Mpilo’s clinical director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya has been acting chief executive officer since the departure of Mr Mabandi.
HSB chairperson Dr Paulinus Sikhosana did not respond to questions sent to him by Chronicle but he told our sister paper Herald that the sacking of the five executives was a restructuring exercise within the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
He said all clinical directors in all the five central hospitals would be CEO on acting capacity until the fired are replaced.
“Yes, I can confirm the latest development and changes within the ministry. It is part of restructuring within the ministry. Like in any organisation, the restructuring is being carried out to improve operational efficiency, effectiveness, accountability as well as effective use of resources within the ministry. We want to keep the integrity of the organisation,” said Dr Sikhosana.
He said the exercise is being carried out to improve efficiency in the health sector as the country is ramping up the fight against the spread of Covid-19, which has affected most countries across the globe. The Chronicle