via Exposed: Mugabe out of touch with country he rules July 14, 2014 by Ndamu Sandu
OPPOSITION politicians and analysts yesterday harped on President Robert Mugabe’s “shock” at the recent separation of conjoined twins by local doctors at Harare Hospital, saying the medical feat had helped expose his hypocrisy and disconnection with reality.
This came after Mugabe last Thursday publicly admitted that he was unaware that local medical personnel had the capacity to conduct so-called “complicated medical conditions” given their limited resources and poor working environment.
In separate interviews with NewsDay, the politicians and analysts said Mugabe, as Head of State and government, should have been the first to entrust his health to local medical doctors instead of blowing millions of taxpayers’ finances seeking medication in far-flung countries such as Singapore.
Mugabe, who has been to Singapore a record three times this year for routine medical check-ups last week visited the twins — Kupakwashe and Tapiwanaishe Chitiyo — who were successfully separated by local doctors early this month.
After the visit, Mugabe remarked: “I am so overwhelmed that really I cannot express the sensitivity of it all.
“Our doctors are doing wonders in other countries such as South Africa, Australia and in Europe. Our people distinguish themselves, but this distinction now, separation of Siamese twins right here in the heart of Zimbabwe, in this hospital, is God-given I must say. It’s something unbelievable that’s why I call it a mystery.”
Mugabe’s trusted lieutenant and Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has been to India twice this year seeking treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
In contrast, the late South African President Nelson Mandela sought medical treatment in his native country until he passed on last December.
Social commentator Maxwell Saungweme said: “Mugabe’s remarks should be understood in the context of a government and a President who has lost touch of reality and says things that are inconsistent with what he does”.
“This is typical of the whole Zanu PF government. They indicate left and turn right and don’t even bother to check whether what they say conforms to what they do,” Saungweme said.
“Just look at what (Transport minister) Obert Mpofu is doing with toll fees, when [Finance minister] Patrick Chinamasa is trying to solve the liquidity crunch, or what [Primary and Secondary Education minister] Lazarus Dokora is doing with teachers yet the education system is in the ICU [intensive care unit] due to the flight of teachers.”
MDC-T spokesperson for Harare province Obert Gutu said it was a paradox that Mugabe showered praises on local medical practitioners when he himself never considered it fit and proper to be treated locally.
“Don’t they say charity begins at home? Next time President Mugabe is due for medical attention for whatever reasons, we expect him to be treated locally and not in Singapore or some other such faraway place,” Gutu said.
He said as public figures and role models, leaders should lead by example and also always walk the talk.
“Until such a time that President Mugabe starts obtaining his medical attention locally, I will remain circumspect and unconvinced about the genuineness of the platitudes that he showered on the all-Zimbabwean medical team that performed the historic and ground-breaking surgery of successfully separating Siamese twins,” Gutu said.
Fired MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti’s Renewal Team spokesperson Jacob Mafume said it was hypocritical and an insult to the well-meaning workers in the health services sector for government to act “surprised” at their capacity to deliver.
“Their neglect by government borders on being criminal,” he said.
Mafume applauded the surgeons saying their efforts “embody the spirit of renewal that we seek in all sectors”.
“The health sector needs government so that its corridors are filled with the celebrations and not the tears and screams of the dying as is the case at moment,” he said, adding that such miracles should be the norm rather than an exception.
“The words from the President are hard to believe as he and his confidants do not routinely use local health services. They use expensive and foreign hospitals at the expense of local ones. If properly used, the money spent on foreign medical check-ups can easily fund the health sector in the country,” Mafume said.