Home » Health Services » Nkayi Mortuary Not Working for the Past Six Years

NKAYI Rural District Hospital mortuary has not been operating properly for the past six years, forcing villagers to resort to traditional methods of preserving bodies.

The more well-to-do villagers have to travel over 120 kilometres to the nearest mortuary facility.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, Nkayi Ward 29 councillor Kufakwezwe Ncube said the hospital mortuary was in a sorry state and needed urgent attention.

“Our major concern as council is the state of the hospital mortuary which has not been working for quite some time,” said Ncube.

“There are road accidents that occur in the district and sometimes we have no option but to take the fatalities to the mortuary.

“Even villagers who would have been admitted at the hospital and pass away are just deposited at the mortuary.

“But the bodies decompose quickly and in most cases their relatives don’t get to do body viewing.”

Ncube said repeated appeals to government and the private sector for assistance have so far not yielded any positive results.

“I have approached the business community to assist in this regard,” he said.

“Initially they agreed to assist and I was tasked with getting quotations for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the mortuary.

“We even had an all stakeholders meeting with the business community, District Administrator and the hospital management.

“In that meeting the hospital management came out clearly that they have no funds to rehabilitate the mortuary. The onus is now on the people of Nkayi or well-wishers who can assist us.”

Ncube also appealed to private funeral parlours to set up businesses in the district, instead of villagers transferring corpses to Bulawayo or Mbuma mission hospital for preservation, some 120 kilometres away.

“Some villagers with no financial means to transfer bodies of their relatives to Bulawayo or Mbuma have resorted to traditional methods,” he said.

“They wrap the body with banana leaves and cover it with river sand and pour water on it. This way, the corpse can stay up to four days without going bad.”

He also revealed that the hospital was operating below capacity with critical drugs in short supply.

Meanwhile, Nkayi Rural District council chairman, Councillor Sicelo Mpofu lamented the state of the council finances, saying intermittent revenue inflows were crippling service delivery.

“Our financial inflows are so low and this is mainly because most of the villagers do not have sources of income,” Mpofu said.

“Most of them relied on cattle ranching but that business has gone down in the last few years. Timber logging also used to sustain the district but that has gone down too.”

He said the council has not recovered after government scrapped outstanding bills owed by ratepayers ahead of the harmonised elections last year.

And with the rainy season beckoning, Mpofu said the state of roads in the district was bad and most of the bridges which collapsed due to heavy rains at the beginning of the year have not yet been repaired.

Mpofu revealed that the major roads in the district were the responsibility of government and the District Development Fund (DDF), while the council was responsible for maintaining feeder roads.

The construction Bulawayo-Nkayi road has been in limbo for more than a decade, with each government, especially during elections, promising to complete the 158km road.

Source : New Zimbabwe