By Delicious Mathuthu

Women in Lower Gweru are still giving birth on roadsides due to lack of clinics and bad road networks, some walking more than 10 km nearest clinic, The Gweru Times has learnt.

Nearly 39 years after independence, villagers in Lower Gweru are still enduring long distances to the nearest clinic.This was revealed by one local councillor and a headman from ward 7 in the Mdubiwa area, which is near St Faith Business Centre, during a community decision making forum conducted by the Vendors Initiative for Social Economic Transformation (VISET) under its Local Governance Enhancement Programme.

The local councillor, Mr Benjamin Mpala, revealed that part of the of the problems encountered in the area include distant clinics which are in the next wards and a bad road network which leads to pregnant women ending up giving birth on roadsides.

Mr Mpala added “we have a bridge, Sabakhwenyana Bridge, which serves two wards, ward 4 which is Nkawana and ward 7 Mdubiwa, which needs to be rebuilt so as to connect the two wards in order to access the nearest clinic during the rainy season. We have got only one clinic Tumbire Clinic which is about 10 km away. The clinic provides help to pregnant women with deliveries. When it rains they fail to access the clinic because there is no bridge, scotch carts and pedestrians cannot cross the river and end up dying or delivering on the roadside,” he said.

 The area is under Vungu Rural District Council and the current MP is Zanu PF legislator Omega Sibanda. Even former MP Josphat Madubeko did not bring any meaningful development to the area which has limited and dilapidated infrastructural network.One of the Headmen in the area, Mr Makhula Ncube of Mxotshwa Village reiterated Mpala’s sentiments adding that attainment of birth documents after giving birth on the roadside become problematic. He stated “Giving birth on the road leads to other problems because when the new mother wants to attain a birth record for her child it becomes difficult because the infant was not delivered at the clinic,” Headman Ncube said.

Mr Ncube said as a result the process becomes long and cumbersome as it will draw in the local Chief, Headmen and filling in of affidavits which is a headache.The two leaders and villagers in attendance at the meeting appealed to well-wishers and government to assist in the construction of a clinic with land having been availed years back.Only funding is lacking.

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