Recently I saw friends pull together close to $600 for the medication at the Cancer Centre here in Harare. This medication was to be administered to one of their relatives, an individual in a ward that was full of people in need of chemotherapy but could not afford it. Whilst chemotherapy may not clean people completely of cancer, it restores their fighting chances and restores hope both to the patients and the relatives. Hope that the patient survives a little longer.
Speaking to one of the nurses at Parirenyatwa left me with a sour mouth. She told me they have not had chemotherapy drugs for some time because government has no money. She says its painful but the reality that they have grown accustomed to is that they keep the patients there just waiting for their time to die.
It then struck me that the government that has condemned people to die in the cancer ward at Parirenyatwa had just spent 45 million dollars on a constitution they do not want. The same politicians are willing to call for an election, which will be another sham if held without the necessary changes to the electoral playing field and systems, and blow some more millions of dollars, but are not ready to sacrifice a few thousands for the citizens with life threatening conditions. The last straw for me was learning this week that the government has paid millions of rands for arms of war and the delivery is arriving from South Africa.
Is not running a government all about the citizens’ wellbeing? Is saving life not the central point in any political party’s manifesto? Why does our government behave differently? Where are their priorities?
Honestly, when one looks at the opulence that characterises the life of our government officials, the numerous foreign trips with hundreds of aides that cost a fortune, and contrast that with the poverty that is suffocating the ordinary person on the street, you would be forgiven to conclude that the government presently is the most serious threat to our existence as a healthy and prosperous nation. – In Touch Jesuit CommunicationsPost published in: Opinions & Analysis