Home » Governance » He Prefers Asia, but Mugabe Praises Medics for Historic Twins Op

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, who shuns local medical institutions preferring to be treated abroad, on Thursday, visited the formerly conjoined Chitiyo twins who were successfully separated in a historic operation at Harare Children’s Hospital.

The twins, Tapuwanashe and Kupakwashe Chitiyo, were born joined on the lower chest and upper abdomen early this year and were separated during an 8-hour surgery carried out on July 1 this year. During his brief visit, Mugabe was full of praise for the local surgeons, doctors and nurses who were part of the team which wrote their own piece history when they separated the twins despite the many challenges in the country’s health sector.

Mugabe was accompanied by the Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parerinyatwa.

The operation was the first major medical procedure on co-joined twins to be performed locally without outside help.

Success was down to team work, from the specialists to hospital cleaners, said lead surgeon, Bothell Mbuwayesango.

“It is against this background (of sanctions) that we have not been deprived of that capacity to equip ourselves – to have instruments which are up-to-date – that you have managed, still managed to perform this wonder, the separation of Siamese twins,” said Mugabe.

“You have done us real proud the world will be talking about us. Some will not believe this because they just do not want to believe it but the rest of the world will believe because Zimbabweans, wherever they are outside the country, are known to be best performers.

“It doesn’t matter where they are our people distinguish themselves but this distinction now right here in the heart of Zimbabwe in this God-given hospital is something unbelievable that’s why I call it a mystery. Tingadai tichitadza kunwisa bhora asi apa tagona kunwisa apa.

Mugabe also suggested that the team behind the successful operation deserved to be honoured by the country.

“Take what has happened here outside from the children’s hospital into the world,” he said.

“Surely if we are able to get our basketball team to State house, football team, our swimmers because they have won and just now we are thinking even the boxer, what more of the people who have done this wonder, we can get them to the State House and do something to honour them.”

Despite the praise, Zanu PF and top government leaders still show little faith in the country’s medical personnel and institutions.

Mugabe regularly travels to Singapore to have his eyes checked. Presidential affairs minister and Zanu PF administration secretary Didymus Mutasa recently flew to India for treatment while Herbert Murerwa chose South Africa.

Meanwhile, the twins are still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where surgeon Bothell Mbuwayesango said they were responding well to treatment.

Zimbabwe’s health sector has suffered years of neglect, with medical professionals leaving for greener pastures and hospitals becoming death traps with no medicines for patients.

The situation only improved during the inclusive government when donors poured in money to help reverse the slide.

Source : New Zimbabwe