ZIMBABWE Cricket chairman, Tawengwa Mukuhlani, has broken his silence over the social media row that erupted at the weekend where he was accused of falsely claiming ownership of medical equipment donated in Mhondoro-Ngezi.
The Bulawayo businessman and politician, who is the Member of Parliament for Mhondoro-Ngezi, came under fired for allegedly claiming credit for the equipment secured from Australia.
St Michael’s Mission Hospital in Mhondoro-Ngezi received a ventilator, and an assortment of medical equipment worth US$200 000, making the hospital one of the first district facilities, in the country, to get high dependency unit equipment for Covid-19.
The donation also included files.
It was sourced from friends in Australia and co-ordinated by a Zimbabwean nurse based in that country, Susan Mutami, and was handed over to the hospital by Mukuhlani, who is the legislator for Mhodoro-Ngezi.
Part of the equipment included a defibrillator, an ultrasound scan, a dental chair, infusion pumps, hypertension monitors, beds, theatre packs and clutches.
However, a social media post under his name, appeared to suggest Mukuhlani had sourced the equipment alone when there were a number of partners who had played a role.
And, this saw the ZC boss being savaged on social media.
“Today, I donated ventilators and other medical equipment worth US$200 000 to St Michaels and Ngezi Hospital,’’ he claimed via social media.
“The equipment is meant to equip and capacitate these two hospitals should we ever have active COVID-19 cases in Mhondoro-Ngezi.
“Under my watch we shall prevail against the invisible enemy in Mhondoro.’’
Yesterday, Mukuhlani said the social media post was misinterpreted at a time when there are a lot of hawks who don’t want to hear any positive things happening in this country.
“It’s a sign of the times we live in, I think,’’ he said yesterday. ‘’There are people out there always waiting to try and paint you in a negative light.
“Those who were at the function where the equipment was donated know that I acknowledged the work that was done by all the partners in Australia to get the equipment to this country.’’
During the handover of the donation, Mukuhlani said:
“I want to thank the Queensland Government from Australia, the Queensland Premier, the Queensland Health, St Vincent Health and the Rotary Club of Australia and, most importantly, the person I have been working with on the ground, Susan Vivian Mutami for co-ordinating all this equipment to come through.
“It’s been a long time that we have been discussing that can we try and help our communities in terms of the health delivery system and, so, I’m very grateful to the partnership that we have had and I hope it will also help in alleviating and managing the disease burden we have in this country.
“And, it will stretch to other areas like health and agriculture.’’
Yesterday, the ZC boss showed The Herald documents showing his company paid the equivalent of US$10 000 in charges for the equipment to be transported from Beira, in Mozambique, to Harare.
Mutami paid for the equipment to be moved from Australia to Beira.
“The medical equipment came through my own company. I paid the agency fees, physical examination fees, port charges, freight charges and Zimra clearance fees,’’ he said.
“I did all this because it was beneficial to the generality of Zimbabwean population.
“Why was I paying for the equipment when I had no part to play in it and why did it end in my constituency and not in any other constituency across the country?
“Surely, we are not the only constituency that has hospitals which need to be equipped, there are a lot of hospitals that need similar donations.
“You can’t question that I was part of the process to get the equipment here and how do I hijack equipment for which I have paid some money for it to be cleared in Beira and finally arrive in this country?
“For me, what is important is not to fight unnecessary wars but just to celebrate, with the partners who enabled the equipment to get here, that this will make a difference in the life of a number of our people.
“Anything else, at this point, is just drama.’’
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