Mnangagwa hijacks UK project for Zanu-PF rally in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo
President Emmerson Mnangagwa seemingly took credit for a clinic that was built in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo, by the United Kingdom (UK) infrastructure company NMS in partnership with Zimbabwean taxpayers, when he officially opened it during a Zanu-PF rally in the second largest constituency after Budiriro.
Mnangagwa, on Wednesday, addressed his supporters at a Zanu PF Star Rally in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo.
In order to lure residents to support him ahead of the August 23 elections, he commissioned the Cowdray Park Health Centre, a 20-bed state-of-art health facility which was not built by his government.
As if the health centre was part of his successful projects, the Zanu-PF leader promised citizens that he will transform and modernise major hospitals to meet international standards.
“This is the second such facility which we have brought into the country. The first one if you remember we have is Stoneridge in Harare South and this is the second set. This state-of-the-art facility is between the clinic and the major hospitals,” he said.
“It can help the communities around here, instead of jumping from a clinic to a major hospital, we have these facilities to look after our communities.
“We are happy we have state-of-the-art facilities, and perhaps they have better facilities than the main hospitals, and we shall upgrade the main hospitals to this state of affairs.”
Research by Nehanda Radio in April, however, has established that, in March 2023, Zimbabwe resolved to raise US$193 million in offshore lending to implement a 2019 agreement with UK infrastructure company NMS for the construction of hospitals and clinics in the Southern African country.
It was also gathered that ABSA and Standard Bank of South Africa were joint arrangers for the transaction, which would be insured by the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa.
The original contract saw NMS building clinics at Stoneridge in Harare and Cowdray Park in Bulawayo.
UK Ambassador to Zimbabwe Melanie Robinson, before attending this year’s International Trade Fair (ZITF), toured the new Cowdray Park clinic and confirmed that it was built by NMS.
“Great visit to a hospital the UK’s NMS is building in Bulawayo, before going to ZITF. Work on the Cowdray Park facility started in 2022, one of 35 hospitals and clinics being expertly built here by NMS. Proud of this shared investment in providing better healthcare to Zimbabweans,” she said.
Bizarrely, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube who is vying for Cowdray Park parliamentary seat, on his campaigning posters, claims that the medical centre was part of infrastructure projects being spearheaded by Zanu-PF.
In April this year opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere asked the Minister “Why are you abusing a hospital paid for by the taxpayer through an international facility in your desperate personal campaign for Zanu-PF? We need new leaders.”