Chiwenga Health minister appointment reckless, says Madhuku

Lovemore Madhuku

OPPOSITION National Constitutional Assembly party leader Lovemore Madhuku has described Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s appointment as Health minister as reckless, as he has no expertise in the medical field and has failed in his other duties.

In a statement, party spokesperson Madock Chivasa said the appointment lacked merit.

“NCA party learned with shock the recent awkward appointment of VicePresident Chiwenga to be in charge of the most important Ministry of Health and Child Care. The strange appointment comes at a critical moment when the country is under threat from COVID-19 virus. We are saddened that the appointment is without merit and its foundation is baseless and a display of reckless abandon,” Chivasa said.

“Despite obvious lack of expertise in the field of health, the Vice-President is already busy with his other duties that he has not necessarily managed as expected. The appointment is an insult to the integrity of the ministry in respect of the overwhelming mandate of the ministry to provide essential health care.”

The NCA said though the appointment was constitutional, it was unreasonable and undemocratic.

“The current Constitution is undemocratic as it is the one that allows the appointment of Vice-Presidents to be in charge of ministries,” Chivasa said.

In 2015, the NCA approached the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) challenging the appointments of then VicePresident Emmerson Mnangagwa as Justice minister and former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko to head the National Reconciliation ministry. The ConCourt made a determination that the appointments were constitutional.

“It is, therefore, clear that as NCA party we have always been against the appointment of Vice-Presidents to lead ministries, besides that we still believe that Zimbabwe is a small country that cannot afford the luxury of having two Vice-Presidents,” Chivasa said.

Chiwenga’s appointment triggered mixed reactions from the medical fraternity and opposition parties with some saying it was not a wise decision as the country was in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doctors and nurses welcomed Chiwenga’s appointment saying they were hopeful that he would shift from his predecessor’s stance and solve issues of corruption, poor working conditions and salaries which have forced health workers to down tools.

The MDC Alliance said the appointment was unconstitutional and that Chiwenga would fail as he relied on use of intimidation.

Source – News Day