Gweru old age home in crisis

This journalist has learnt that one of the most popular old people’s home in Gweru, namely the Batanai is struggling to cope as a result of the current economic situation and that some staff members have not received salaries for months.

Sinikiwe  Chivayi

Sinikiwe Chivayi

This, previously successful, institution was established by the late Mr Ramusha in 1980 and officially opened by the then Vice President, Simon Vengai Muzenda in 1988.

Batanai is home to seven elderly males and ten females and survives on donations from well wishers. Additional contributions and support is proving hard to come by due to the deteriorating economy in the country.

The dire situation of this sanctuary and its residents and staff became blatantly clear to this journalist at a recent visit.

Presently, River Valley Properties, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), Pastor Chiwara of the Champions Ministry International, NASSA, Patels Supermarket, OK, Batanai, Mayor’s Cheer fund, MSU and various other churches are among the institution’s funders and Batanai is highly appreciative to them and all other supporters.

Although donations do cover some basic needs such a as food and clothing, senior care giver, Mivlett Mujuru mentioned that the institution is faced with limited operational and administrative funds and appealed to the corporate world to come to the rescue of the home.

Another Batanai official, Annah Bomvu told this journalist that although the residents are well cared for in terms of food, they are struggling to pay salaries and the institutions accounts.

“We need more funds. We cannot continue to depend on irregular food hand outs from well wishers. The institution needs regular funds to cover both operational and administrative costs. We need to receive fixed, guaranteed donations so that we can budget for the care of our residents as well as pay for essential services such as telephone, electricity and other council accounts,” said Bomvu.

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