MP says let’s not drag Mugabe into the doctors mess



Kwekwe Central Member of Parliament Masango Matambanadzo said President Robert Mugabe should not be dragged to Parliament to address the issue of doctors who are demanding cash from medical aid patients from next week saying this was a small matter that can be handled by the minister.

He castigated legislators who argued that Health Minister David Parirenyatwa could not intervene because he had been involved in a shady deal with the Premier Service Medical Aid Society saying if Parirenyatwa had done anything wrong he should have been convicted.

“We are now blaming the Minister because of what the doctors are saying; the Minister has nothing to do with that.  We cannot remove a capable man because of such a situation; it should not be accepted,” he said.

Matambanadzo urged legislators to behave like educated people after some started grumbling and argued that though he had Grade Two, he was educated.

Doctors who belong to the Zimbabwe Medical Association have given an ultimatum to start charging medical aid patients cash from 1 July because medical aid societies owe them about $200 million.

Matambanadzo, however, had his own theory about why doctors wanted cash.

“Doctors now want to have these monies and they know that if they have cash, they can sell it and get 10% profit on the $100 obtained from his surgery.  The money is being bought by car dealers.  Private car dealers were told that they were not going to receive money to purchase small cars and people who can only receive money from the banks are those who buy buses and lorries,” he said. 

“The person who is selling small cars is an indigenous person who is taking money and goes and re-invests it.  This person will now collect his cash, go and open an account in Zambia or Mozambique.  These people confide in us and say MP, do you know how I am surviving?  I am illegally exporting money because it is easy to open an account in Zambia.  There we have transactions easily, especially if you want to buy cars.  As a result, we are creating criminals of innocent people in Zimbabwe.  Our attitudes are really creating these criminals.”

Matambanadzo also said banks should not set any withdrawal limits because this was worsening the cash crisis.

“Mr. Speaker, we need to urgently look at this rule which is limiting the amount of cash withdrawn from the banks.  This is exactly what was happening during the Zimbabwe dollar era.  My advice is, the people should be allowed to withdraw the amounts they want.  What is happening is, people withdraw the money as it come and withhold it.”

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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