Monday, January 30, 2023

Primary hospitals for Moshupa and Shakawe raise eyebrows

The process to construct two new primary hospitals kicks off in earnest early next month (probably in the first week) with the floating of a tender for the construction of Shakawe Primary Hospital. A similar hospital is to be built in Moshupa sometime in 2018.

While quality healthcare is needed everywhere in Botswana, the location of both hospitals has raised some eyebrows. With regard to Shakawe, the question that various experts are raising is why a small village (the largest employer is Choppies Supermarket) has to be built a primary hospital when one is 133 kilometres away in Gumare. A source says that a more cost-effective option would have been to upgrade the clinic in the village. One theory that doesn’t seem to add up is that the building of the hospital was part of the deal between the government and Okavango MP, Bagalatia Arone, who defected to the Botswana Democratic Party from the Botswana Congress Party. It doesn’t immediately make sense how Arone would use that hospital to advance his political career but such theory has been planted in the Shakawe and Government Enclave grapevine. Construction of the Shakawe hospital is expected to start in January next year which is when all tendering processes would have been carried through to finality.

The Moshupa Primary Hospital is expected to be almost similar to the one in Shakawe. Apparently, the design of the two hospitals cannot be exactly the same because the physical, environmental and other conditions of Shakawe and Moshupa are not the same. Modifying the design is expected to take a year. A source says that Moshupa may not have as much land as Shakawe necessitating the construction of compact structures. As with Shakawe, questions are being asked about why Moshupa should have a primary hospital when there is one 19 kilometres away in Thamaga. The source points out that only 30 km from Thamaga (in Molepolole) is the Scottish Livingstone District Hospital.

“Basically that means that three hospitals are cluttered up in the same area when there are more suitable places to build a primary hospital,” says source suggesting Kanye as one such place. “Kanye doesn’t have a government hospital but is served by a mission hospital which is run on strict religious rules that are not always helpful.”

On the basis of religious belief about sexual practice, the Kanye hospital, which is owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, doesn’t dispense condoms as is the case with government hospitals. Who Moshupa MP is (Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi) will cause some people to put two and two together and reach an unfavourable conclusion.


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