Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF have mourned 21 health workers who died in a road accident on Saturday in Tsholotsho.
In a statement yesterday, Zanu-PF national spokesperson, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, expressed grief on the death of the health workers as he paid condolences to their families.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care employees who were on an anti-malaria spraying mission died after the truck they were travelling in overturned and rolled several times. Its driver lost control when he failed to negotiate a curve.
The truck was carrying 69 people and 48 of them suffered varying degrees of injuries.
Government has already declared the accident a state of disaster and is assisting with the burial of the deceased while providing medical care for survivors.
Cde Khaya Moyo said President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF were concerned about the loss of lives that are needed as the country focuses on national recovery.
“The President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF ED Mnangagwa, the Politburo, and the Central Committee and the People’s party Zanu-PF as a whole wishes to extend sincere regret and deepest condolences to the bereaved families for the sudden and untimely passing on of their loved ones who perished in a road accident at Jimila in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North province on Saturday 3 December, 2017,” he said.
He said the party will remember the health workers for their patriotism as they died on national duty.
“The fact that the deceased passed on whilst on national duty speaks to their commitment to the national cause and that will certainly stand out in the memory of the party. It is sad that the nation has lost personnel from the health sector at a very crucial time when their services were needed most as the nation sets foot towards a national recovery path,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
He wished the injured a speedy recovery.
Meanwhile, a memorial service for 21 people who perished in a road traffic accident on Saturday in Tsholotsho was held yesterday at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo.
A team of 69 health workers was involved in the crash when a Matabeleland North Provincial Malaria Control vehicle they were travelling in failed to negotiate a curve and overturned before landing on its roof.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Dr Gerald Gwinji identified the victims as Dumisani Ngwenya, Bonisani Moyo, Nyalani Munkuli, Mongikazi Tshabalala, Mlungisi Ndlovu, Thulani Murwira, Vusumuzi Ncube, Brandon Muvengwa, Khulekani Sibanda, Mthabisi Tshuma, Ntombezinhle Ngwenya, Vote Sibanda, Obey Moyo, Ben Tshuma, Elton Mpofu, Thabani Maphosa, Bishop Ndlovu, Mxeleli Donga, Soyaphi Dube and Polite Dube.
One person’s name is yet to be verified.
Dr Gwinji said: “The past three months have been a bleak period for our ministry as we also lost three important officials which include a deputy minister, a former minister, Dr Timothy Stamps whose ceremony will be tomorrow (today). Again we have lost 21 hardworking cadres of the MoHCC and the community who come in every year to support the malaria control programme, ceremonially and religiously.
“This was declared a state of disaster and through the CPU, Government has put on the table, assistance, which is, however, by no means a replacement of the colleagues that we lost but just a token to ease financially during this grieving process. We greatly thank all stakeholders which quickly responded to help.”
Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director, Dr Nyasha Masuka, said the injured were in a stable condition and out of danger considering they had all managed to surpass the most critical stage which was the first 48 hours after the accident.
“We will continue to mobilise medicines, consumables and sundries for those who are still admitted in hospitals until their conditions stabilise and until they are discharged. We will continue to monitor their health as they are rehabilitated back to their families especially for those who might have suffered disabilities that may make them not able to continue a normal life again,” he said.