VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday said corrupt officials at public hospitals such as Mpilo Central Hospital and the United Bulawayo Hospitals must be fired for fleecing patients.
Without mincing his words, VP Mphoko said there was conflict of interest at some institutions as some officials ran businesses similar to that of their employer.
The VP said this while addressing residents in Area Two of Old Pumula suburb in Bulawayo where he handed over 2 900 day-old chicks.
VP Mphoko said he was dismayed by reports that some officials were sabotaging Government pharmacies at these institutions while running their own.
“Imali etshontshiweyo ayibusisekanga (stolen money is not blessed). There are thieves in our hospitals for instance Mpilo, UBH and Ingutsheni, professional thieves who are protected by law.
“There are consultation fees paid by patients when they visit hospitals . . . that money must be channelled towards buying medication but we don’t know where that money is going,” said VP Mphoko.
“There are elderly people and vulnerable people who are struggling to survive then we’ve people who are given responsibility to assist and instead they take advantage of these vulnerable people and make them pay exorbitant fees”.
VP Mphoko had no kind words for executives who were allowing corruption to go on under their noses.
“We’ve executive officers who are responsible for the lives of people, given responsibility by the government to take care of people in hospitals but they take advantage of that.
“They then go and open a pharmarcy taking advantage of people, it’s very wrong, it’s rotten,” he said.
“We must take action and fire those people because we cannot allow that, people are suffering and they look up to the Government but the Government cannot be everywhere that’s why it appoints people.
“If there is something like that, who ever is above you is also questionable. If you are given a responsibility to serve people you must do so diligently not to cheat them.”
VP Mphoko said those who felt like stealing must leave office to go and start their own businesses rather than fleece patients who need their assistance.
“The Government allows that each hospital runs a pharmacy. They then sabotage that pharmacy by running their own parallel pharmacies, fleecing old and vulnerable people who end up buying from the private pharmacies.
“We’ve what is called conflict of interest, it’s not permissible for an official to run a business the same as their employers,” he said.
Turning to the chicken project, VP Mphoko urged recipients to take the empowerment drive seriously and ensure that it becomes a running business.
“What’s important is that you accept what we’re giving you and value it. It’s yours, it’s not for me or my wife, ngokwenu.
Make use of this project as it may help you settle bills and pay school fees for your children,” said VP Mphoko.
He challenged residents to tap into other empowerment projects and not wait for Government initiatives.-Chronicle