Funds derail Chitungwiza’s COVID-19 quarantine centre project
By Own Correspondent
Chitungwiza Municipality has linked the delay in opening its COVID-19 centre to the lack of funds. This comes despite a ZW$1 million allocations to the town for COVID-19 control activities from the central government in 2020.
The local authority says the allocated funds were not sufficient to set up a quarantine centre in the satellite town with a population of more than 500 000 people.
Council spokesperson Lovemore Meya said there were efforts to establish a quarantine centre but had challenges, “A lot of work has been done and progress has been made, but the facility is still not ready to admit COVID-19 patients yet because funding for the project has dried up.”
He adds, “We were initially given some funding through the Ministry of Health and Child Care to carry out some of the work, and we did this work, but the funding was not enough to carry out the renovation, refurbishment and equipping of the facility to completion.”
Chitungwiza must account for funds
Chitungwiza Residents Trust (Chitrest), director, Alice Kuvheya, however, criticized the local authority for mismanaging COVID-19 funds.
“Council was supposed to renovate Chitungwiza North to a quarantine centre but up to now, we have nothing. It’s very sad that a town with over half a million residents at this time still doesn’t have at least one quarantine centre.”
Kuvheya says heads should roll at the local authority, “We want justice to prevail, the council should account for what happened to the COVID-19 money that was allocated here in Chitungwiza.”
The local authority along with other local authorities in the country has often been accused of misappropriation of funds with critics citing a case of misplaced priorities in their budgeting