Expectant mothers fume over maternity fees

* Situation could lead to anti-Mugabe protest votes

BULAWAYO: In a development that could cost President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF many protest votes in the forthcoming elections, expectant mothers here are up in arms over payment of maternity fees at government hospitals.Government announced early in 2011 that all expectant women would receive free maternity services at all state-run health facilities. The announcement came following an agreement between government and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to the agreement then, the WHO was to provide funds for a free health care scheme under which expectant mothers, who could not afford to pay high fees charged in council clinics and private health care facilities, would be cushioned. On March 1 this year, government announced further that the scheme would be extended to rural health institutions. The gesture came after the European Commission (EC) promised to release US$17.1 million towards the revitalisation of Zimbabwe's ailing health sector. However, barely two weeks after the announcement, it emerged that pregnant women who had booked to deliver their babies at Chitungwiza Hospital since last year, were being made to pay.

Editor's Comment
Has life become worthless?

As many wondered what wrong the young boy could have done to end up killed, it emerged that his own cousin was a suspect in the murder after he claimed P50,000 from Botswana Life. Thato Tsametse, who was last week sentenced to death for the murder of his cousin, had reportedly taken out two Mmoloki Funeral Covers valued at P25,000 each.Over the years, the media has been covering the murder case, and some revelation has come up that certain...

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