Tough times at Chitungwiza Hospital

Forward Nyanyiwa
All is not well at Chitungwiza Central Hospital.

There is a seismic power wrangle raging on at the hospital that has seen a fierce war of words being traded behind the scenes severely rocking the institution’s operations.

The cold war is said to have started late last year when one of the factions organised a demonstration which saw nurses turning the heat on the hospital’s chief executive officer, Dr Obadiah Moyo, for allegedly “privatising” the only ISO-certified health institution in the Sadc region.

In an explosive audio recording in possession of The Sunday Mail Society, Mr Leonard Mudare, the organising secretary of the community liaising committee and who also sits in the hospitals community consultative meetings, said the hospital’s clinical director, Dr Patrick Dhliwayo, working in cahoots with the hospital’s principal nursing officer, Miriam Mangeya, organised the demonstration which rocked Chitungwiza Central Hospital late last year in a bid to force the resignation of the hospital’s CEO.

“Dr Dhliwayo is very ambitious. Apart from the fact that he has been verbally and physically assaulting doctors and nurses, he teamed up with Matron Mangeya (the hospital’s principal nursing officer) and organised a demonstration against Dr Moyo using unsuspecting nurses,” said Mr Mudare.

“The nurses were told to raise placards denouncing (Dr) Moyo when in fact Dhliwayo and Mangeya were fighting personal wars. Up to this day, they don’t see eye-to-eye and many-a-time when we go for meetings, they send their representatives.”

Late last year, Chitungwiza Central Hospital experienced a nursing staff unrest which crippled operations for almost a week. The nurses were calling for Dr Moyo’s sacking for what they alleged was a hospital capture by the chief executive.

Since then, there have been two distinct camps that have been throwing spanners at each other, with reports that Ms Mangeya had “planted” her relative, Tobias Muchakazi, in the CEO’s office to gather information. Muchakazi has since been booted out of the office.

According to Mr Mudare, Matron Mangeya was irked by the fact that she lost her powers in the recruitment of student nurses which had seen her flooding the hospital with her kith and kin.

“As for Mangeya, she is a bitter woman. She has been benefiting from the recruitment of student nurses such that the whole hospital is now full of her relatives, from general hands up to nurses. Now that the benefits have been taken away, she has taken that as an issue against Dr Moyo,” added Mr Mudare.

“She hardly comes to meetings and she sends her deputy instead. The last time she came to a meeting was when the Permanent Secretary (Dr Gerald Gwinji) visited the hospital.”

Student nurse recruitment is now being done in the CEO’s office and the last one saw officials from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission supervising the whole process.

A senior dental doctor at the hospital who requested anonymity said all is not well at the hospital and a lot of doctors want Dr Dhliwayo out.

“Dr Dhliwayo has become infamous. Every doctor and even the nursing staff are tired of him because of his violent behaviour. He tosses everyone around and indications are that he can be suffering from bipolar disorder,” said the doctor.

“Just look at the way he has been attending court to answer assault charges. We are now tired of his antics and it would be better if he is transferred because a lot of doctors no longer take his orders and it’s detrimental to the patients. We are much concerned about the patients and now if someone makes the environment rigid to serve our purpose then corrective measures must be taken.”

Dr Dhliwayo was last year convicted of assaulting nurses and sentenced to three months imprisonment and paid US$500 as an admission of guilt fine.

He is back in court facing charges of verbally assaulting a Mr Ndarukwa, a nursing tutor at the hospital.

When contacted for comment, Dr Dhliwayo said: “I don’t want to comment about that and please leave me alone.”

Matron Mangeya refuted the allegations being levelled against her.

“There’s no bad blood between me and Dr Moyo. And I don’t have any idea who incited the demonstration you are referring to. When it happened I was actually out of the country,” she said.

“People are just accusing me of something I didn’t do or have ever been part of.”

Dr Moyo could neither confirm nor deny the existence of factions but he said there were indications that demonstrations may have been planned.

“Of course, some nurses came to me saying they were being forced to demonstrate and that some senior members of staff were behind the unrest but I just brushed that aside,” he said.

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