MUTARE– Patients in Mutasa Central constituency health centres are sharing wards with corpses as the community has no mortuary facilities forcing villagers in the remote area to incur extra costs of sending their deceased beloved ones to other constituencies.
At times funeral proceedings are fast tracked before bodies decompose, as impoverished rural families seek to escape extra burden of transporting bodies to either Hauna forty plus kilometers away or further up in Mutare.
The nearest mortuary services for the locals, are all in other constituencies, Hauna Hospital falls under Mutasa North, Old Mutare is in Mutasa South while Mutare Provincial is in Mutare Central constituency.
Speaking to journalists during a tour of the constituency, facilitated by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Mutasa Central Member of Parliament, Trevor Saruwaka said despite chipping in and constructing a three man mortuary, political differences have stalled progress.
Saruwaka following extensive consultation with the community, he direct the Constituency Development Fund towards constructing the mortuary at Dada Health Centre, with the aid of the British embassy.
With the facility yet to be opened for public use, Saruwaka said the delays for opening the convenience service for community use are political and affect the community the most.
“We have no mortuary in the whole Mutasa Central Constituency. We take our deceased relatives to either Hauna Hospital, Old Mutare Hospital, Mutare Provincial Hospital or fast track funeral proceedings.
“This is an issue that has been troubling us for years and we implore authorities to intervene and help communities around,” he said.
Saruwaka said since the mortuary was completed last year in October, he has engaged the Ministry of Health from the district to national level to get the mortuary operational but his efforts have continuously hit brick walls.
He said the was exposing the insincerity of the new dispensation as the culture of placing political issues in front of development issues has persisted at the expense of local communities.
“We don’t want to have someone to come and cut a ribbon, just allow the hospital to use, for the community to benefit.
“The people who are suffering are the community because when their relatives lose their lives they are forced to hire a vehicle to go to either Old Mutare, Hauna or in Mutare or they are forced to bury relatives.
“I have engaged the Ministry from the district to national level, this was completed in October last year,” he said.
“Unfortunately the truth of the matter is that even under this so called new dispensation we are still looking at the political side instead of looking at development issues separate from politics.”