Tit is always more honorable to admit mistakes and errors of judgment than attempt to mislead with lies and deception.
Such is the situation at the University Teaching Hospital where contradictory statements have been made with regard to the status of Oxygen supply. The Hospital has assured the Nation that adequate arrangements have been made to normalize supplies and therefore allow for normal procedures in the theaters and other medical uses.
The reality is quite different.
As it turns out the Hospital has been facing a major supply problem that has crippled operations in the critical areas of the hospital, to the detriment of patients whose misery has been prolonged through no fault of their own.
Sadly the lack of clarity about the situation promises to prolong the situation as no immediate action can be taken unless the full extent of the problem has been established and necessary remedial measures have been taken to rectify the problem.
The confusion at UTH is indicative of the general malaise in the Government where political pontification is the order of the day.
A few months ago we reported the problem of water reticulation at the Hospital. The management dismissed our efforts and later suggested that a serious resource constraint was behind the problem. Meanwhile the Hospital proceeded with renovations and other works as patients suffered intolerable conditions of overflowing toilets due to lack of water.
It took the President Mr. Michael Sata to visit the Hospital and demand immediate measures and the situation changed. Suddenly resources were made available and the situation was resolved.
This scenario repeats itself in many spheres of Governance. Money is sourced for less than important matters while essential services are allowed to grind to a halt.
As it stand social service delivery does not appear to be a priority for the Government which is watching the rapid deterioration of drainage and sanitation systems in almost all the major cities of the country.
While money can be found for Football and by-elections residents in Matero have to suffer overflowing effluent because the council has no resources to inject in the repair of the dilapidated, outdated and irreparable infrastructure.
Mealie Meal prices
The escalating prices of mealie meal will not be checked until and unless the Government takes a very practical and proactive approach to understand the causes of and find solution to the problem.
The continued denial and subsequent finger pointing will not solve the problem because the main issue has remained untouched. If anything we can expect a more serious situation this year when lower than expected harvests will force Government to import maize.
The late supply of input means that peasant farmers who are always dependent on Government supplies will suffer a lower yield. This will have the knock on effect of lowering national yield.
These factors must now be taken into account as Government looks at the next one year. Maize is a very volatile product and any problems in supply will have serious effect, as has happened before.