The fatal accident that occurred in Kariba last week on Independence Day exposed the sorry state of Zimbabwe’s healthcare sector.
Four people died in the accident and 32 were injured while travelling from Kasvisva rural where they had attended the district Independence Day celebrations.
A speeding Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) UD truck which was ferrying the people veered off the road and plunged into a ravine 20km from Kariba town.
The victims suffered broken arms, legs and multiple fractures. Two of the deceased died on the spot.
The injured were transferred from Kariba Hospital to Chinhoyi, nearly 260km away, because the local hospital did not have simple basics such as bandages. Former Kariba mayor George Masendu said:
The hospital had no bandages and relatives had to buy from private pharmacies. Kariba Hospital has no X-ray machine and patients had to be ferried to Chinhoyi and nine ambulances were deployed to help out.
As much as the health staff is committed, there are no adequate resources and as a nation, this is a sad reality 42 years after independence.
One of the victims of the accident who died on the spot was the Musambakaruma nurse-in-charge Thomas Munenga.
Munenga had spent 20 years as a nurse around Kariba’s rural and urban clinics.
Kariba-based journalist John Chirinda revealed that the majority of the injured were civil servants who had travelled to Kasvisva.
Kasvisva is a remote area located near Siakobvu where Munenga spent most of his time on national duty as a nurse. Wrote Chirinda:
Members of the ruling party and some civil servants were involved in the accident. The devil was waiting to inflict pain, horror and this unforgettable experience.
Munenga worked in most of the clinics in the Kariba district including Nyamhunga, Makande, Mola, Kasvisva, Siakobvu Hospital and was now at Msampakaruma Clinic before he passed on.
A good number of civil servants have shunned our rural Kariba for a better-developed place.
ZANU PF youths, Isaya Chikunichiwa Tsuro and Method Chikova were buried in Kariba last Friday.
Farisai Chingwaru was buried on Saturday in Hurungwe with Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mary Mliswa-Chikoka and Local Government and Public Works Deputy Minister Marian Chombo in attendance.
Munenga was laid to rest in his rural home in Hurungwe’s Chief Mola area.