Patients shut out as Mugabe visits hospital

chitungwiza_general_hospitalCHITUNGWIZA - A woman was forced to give birth in a car and a man with a broken arm suffered in agony while the military closed Chitungwiza Hospital for almost a whole day for a visit by President Robert Mugabe. (Pictured: Main entrance to Chitungwiza Gen

Lives of the sick were put at risk as medical staff were ordered to wait for Mugabe to address them at the official opening of a Renal Unit on March 25. A heavily pregnant woman, Sheila Ngorima (46), who painfully gave birth outside the hospital after the military denied her access to the maternity ward, lived to tell her ordeal to The Zimbabwean.

I arrived at the hospital around 8am and was shocked to be met by armed soldiers at the main entrance. The gunmen, who happened to be Mugabes body guards, rudely ordered the car r to drive off the premises and come back later after the Presidents visit.

In deep pain, I tried to reason with them as my condition was an emergency. The soldiers would not hear any of my pleas and threatened to blow the hell out of me should I dared continue making funny excuses as if I was above the presidency.

Frightened and in disbelief, the driver reversed the vehicle from the main entrance and made for the pedestrian gate where he sought assistance from elderly women. But they had no experience in midwifery and I had to go through the ordeal on my own.

Nurses at the hospital were locked inside by the army as they waited for the President to arrive. From the car I delivered the baby, I could hear several other sick people crying for medical attention but their pleas fell on deaf ears. Human suffering of the sick stretched from early in the morning until mid afternoon when Mugabe left, she said. Ngorimas ordeal as a result of Mugabes fear of people surrounding him was shared by a victim of a near fatal road accident on the day, Thomas Jiri, of Chitungwiza Unit A.

Jiri sustained an arm fracture in a road accident involving two commuter omnibuses along the Harare-Chitungwiza road. He was rushed to the hospital around just after 8am on the day of Mugabes visit. He was in a queue waiting for his turn to be attended to by a doctor when soldiers ordered business to be suspended. He vowed never to forgive Mugabe for the pain he endured due to delayed medical attention at the referral hospital. His arm would never fully recover as it took more than six hours before receiving medical treatment as a result of Mugabes visit.

Following what the army did to the sick on the day in question, I strongly feel Mugabe is not leading people but those behind him are after him. He is even afraid of his own shadow. It signals that time was up for him to leave the presidency of the country.

How could a caring head of state feel at ease at a central hospital where the sick were crying for help as all business was grounded to accommodate his visit? If the old man had a human heart he would have let it be business as usual as he opened the Renal Unit at the hospital.

Mugabe has become too cruel for a human being. He should be ashamed of the Chitungwiza Hospital violation of human rights and resign from office. His Conduct was unbecoming for a national leader. This is not the type of leadership we would want for this struggling country, said Jiri.

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