HARARE – Sakunda Holdings has received heavenly praise after donating US$2.6 million in equipment and the Arundel Hospital to Government for use in the fight against COVID-19, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa likening the company’s CEO the Apostle Peter.
Sakunda CEO and presidential advisor Kudakwashe Tagwirei handed over the donation to Mnangagwa at State House Thursday, revealing that his company was also going to pay the 55 medical personnel manning the hospital for the next six months.
The tycoon, who has been in the public spotlight over US$3 billion in Command Agriculture funds that remain unaccounted for, came under heavy public fire after reports surfaced alleging the facility was being developed for exclusive use by ruling party and government elites following the dead of journalist and Finance Ministry communications consultant Zororo Makamba.
Tagwirei sought to put the claims to rest saying the facility would be open to the general public at no cost. It remains to be seen if COVID-19 patients will now be referred to the facility which is better equipped that other designated facilities such as Wilkins Hospital.
“Sakunda Holdings and its associates came up with a private initiative to compliment government efforts to curb this pandemic specifically in the provision of health facilities, equipment, training and vaccines. The equipment being donated today include PPEs, 15 emergency ventilators, 40 portable ventilators, 35 thousand rapid testing kits, among others all worth USD2.6 million,” Tagwirei said in a statement.
“The facility will be accessible to every Zimbabwean at no cost. To ensure operationalisation of the hospital, 55 medical professionals have been employed and their salaries for six months have been provided. Renovations, equipment installed and running costs at the hospital have cost Sakunda about USD 2.8 million.”
Receiving the donations, President Emmerson Mnangagwa heaped praises on Sakunda saying the firm had made a lot of contribution in developing the country, likening CEO Tagwirei to the biblical Peter for his efforts.
“I want you all to know, that we accept with similar gratitude whatever you have brought but of course, even Jesus had twelve desciples but we all know he had more favour towards Peter,” President Mnangagwa said.
“I don’t know the reason but maybe Peter quickly understood Jesus more than the others. I am saying so because I have a list of what Sakunda has done. And its quite a lot in the volumes of the things that we need. I feel comfortable because we are now able to equip front line workers in the ministry of health in terms of Personal Protective Equipment,”
Additional reporting by TheAnchor.co.zw & Kukurigo News