Bridget Mananavire 13 May 2017
HARARE – Government plans to build a new hospital to replace all functions
of the old and overwhelmed Harare Central Hospital (HCH), Health minister
David Parirenyatwa (pictured) said.
HCH was commissioned in 1958 to cater for approximately 630 black African
“We agreed with the president (Robert Mugabe) and others that when you
look at Harare (Central) Hospital, it’s an exact replica of Mpilo
(Central) Hospital, both of them are very old. If you walk in the
corridors, you realise how dilapidated they are, nothing to do with the
staff that’s there, but it’s just the infrastructure,” Parirenyatwa said
while receiving a $350 000 fund for Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals
cardiology department from the National Oil Infrastructure Company of
“They were built for Africans. This one (Parirenyatwa) was a European
hospital and Harare was for Africans. United Bulawayo Hospitals was for
Europeans while Mpilo was for Africans. When Independence came, the first
Health minister was Herbert Ushewokunze, he said this was nonsense and
there was no longer that segregation.
“So we agreed that Harare (Central) Hospital should be built anew, as
Harare Hospital, a modern one, with wide corridors and larger windows. And
when doctors walk with their stethoscope, it’s really respectable, but we
must do the same for Mpilo.”
The total construction value of the new hospital was not disclosed.
He said the project was part of economic blueprint Zimbabwe Agenda for
Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), which proposes
procuring essential drugs and medicines and basic infrastructural services
for referral, provincial and district hospitals.
“But this is a project that we must do. Others have accepted that we must
have two district hospitals in Harare, the other one in Budiriro and the
other one in Harare South, that’s another development. ZimAsset requires
us to build more clinics. Why more clinics? Because we will be able to
bring primary health care to get people nearer to health care services,”
Parirenyatwa said adding his ministry was “largely underfunded”
“Very much underfunded, but it’s the most important ministry in terms of
looking after your health. So whatever you do, be it mining, be it energy,
the most important thing is you must feel you are healthy,” Parirenyatwa
“When we have these innovations like Noic and others, we are happy. It is
not possible that government can completely fund the health sector, but it
is possible to persuade government to look at the most disadvantaged . . .
to be able to pay for those most vulnerable people, so that they also get