As the Zimbabwean economy continues to haemorrhage, nurses and staff at Chiredzi General Hospital have thrown professional health standards through the window, and are now selling overnight mahewu and uncertified frozen water in hospital wards as a way to supplement their meagre salaries.

This was revealed by Tafara Pondiwa, the director of Divine Foundation Trust — a community-based organisation that focuses on career guidance and advocacy on social and educational issues and educational requirements for under-privileged children and physically challenged children.

In a letter addressed to the hospital matron, seen by Southern Eye, Pondiwa highlighted his organisation’s health concerns and the risks patients were exposed to as a result of the nurses’ conduct.

Part of the letter read:

“The problem we are encountering is at the hospital and especially in the wards is the selling of home-made repacked overnight mahewu and frozen water to hospitalised patients by nurses and police officers’ wives, who are putting patients at risk of disease infection.

Chiredzi General Hospital superintendent, David Tarumbwa could not be reached for comment. His mobile went unanswered.

Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo said investigations can only be carried out if the questions are forwarded to the ministry’s public relations manager Donald Mujiri.

“Just contact Mujiri and he will give you the answer after investigations,” he said.

However, Mujiri could not be reached for comment as his mobile also went unanswered.