HARARE – David Parirenyatwa's Health ministry is demanding back fuel it gave to Zanu PF for use during President Robert Mugabe’s 93rd birthday celebrations in Matobo last month.
In a February 27 letter to Zanu PF’s politburo Health secretary, Cleveria Chizema, Health ministry permanent secretary Gerald Gwinji revealed that they gave the ruling party 320 litres worth of fuel coupons.
Gwinji yesterday said they advanced Zanu PF the fuel and an ambulance based on the understanding that they would return the fuel.
“If we get a request for an ambulance, we fuel the ambulance, but the expectation is that we claim our fuel back. We have not been reimbursed,” he said.
This comes as most hospitals and clinics in rural areas do not have fuel for ambulances, resulting in patients being ferried in wheelbarrows or scotch-carts.
According to the letter, “the medical team were issued with 320 litres diesel coupons by the Health and Child Care ministry on the understanding that it will be reimbursed in tandem with our budgetary submission”.
“The medical team was refunded 100 litres by the organisers and were informed that the outstanding 220 litres is going to be refunded. We look forward to this final reimbursement.”
Mugabe’s government allocated $281 million to the struggling health sector, constituting 6,8 percent of the $4,1 billion in the 2017 National Budget, with hopes that donors will cover the gap and complement government’s efforts.