By Jill Mangachena
Manyame Park – The Member of Parliament (MP) for the St Mary’s constituency conducted a door to door visit around ward one enquiring about grievances and answering the pertinent questions that residents were raising.
This action by the MP, Dickson Tarusenga, provided a platform which residents were eager for, to consult with their representative in the parliament.
During the consultations, Tarusenga brought to the residents’ attention that the St Mary’s clinic is operating without a valid permit and that it has been operating in that manner for several years now.
“The permit has to be renewed every year and the clinic is failing to do so because the cost for renewal is very high”, said Tarusenga.
“The clinic also needs to buy equipment and medication to service clients and this puts a strain on its budget leading it to forfeit license renewal especially since this is a yearly procedure.”
Residents voiced concerns over the lack of a valid permit saying they cannot afford any problems with their clinic since it is the only one servicing their community.
“We cannot afford our clinic to operate without a permit for what happens if it is shut down because of that. Where will each and every one of us here get medical attention when they get sick?” said Admire Mutize.
“Many people will die for lack of medical attention even from little illnesses when not given proper medical attention,” continued Mutize
A resident of ward one Talkmore Tazvida said, “There must be another way to address the issue of the permit. What if you, as our MP, find a way for us to address this problem, or maybe as residents we can all come together and find a solution to this problem.”
Tarusenga, however, indicated that as an MP he cannot do much to address the license problem.
Tarusenga said: “I, myself, cannot take action on this for I cannot force the clinic to register every year. It will be totally unfair considering their budget and the fact that most clinics around Zimbabwe are also operating in the same manner (without a permit).”
Many of the residents present pointed out that they did not even know about the clinic since they do not get updates from responsible authorities. They also complained that they have never heard their MP participating in parliament concluding that his representation of the St Mary’s constituency was limited.
However, the residents admitted that the visit from Tarusenga was a positive move towards the eradication of a top-down communication. They also urged Tarusenga to represent them in moving for freedom of speech as well as freedom after speech ahead of the 2018 elections since Zimbabwe is supposed to be a democratic state so people need to be free to say what they want without fear.
Residents requested a public meeting where everyone would be able to communicate with the MP and also have more time with him.
A ward one resident, Rutendo Gonzo said: “I am sure many people in this constituency have many issues to discuss with you and since today you are in a hurry we cannot outline all we have to say to you. Only those who are in the streets have had a chance to consult with you and it is also taking up time for you to move from one group to another, thus I think a public meeting, which can be announced ahead of time, will be more effective for this purpose.”