THE government has failed to pay the contractor of the multi-million dollar Hwange district hospital, forcing the project to be abandoned before completion, the Zimbabwe Ind
ependent has learnt.
The contractor, Bulawayo-based Belmont Construction, is said to have pulled out of the project after government failed to pay the company’s initial fees running into millions of dollars.
Construction of the district hospital has been going on for the last two years. It was expected that once completed the hospital would house an X-ray department, a maternity wing, a casualty ward and an outpatients department, among others.
Sources in Hwange said the hospital project has been in limbo for some time, resulting in the walls, now at roof-level, developing cracks.
Management at Belmont Construction could not comment on the issue as they were said to be in Botswana on business.
However, the Hwange District Development Committee last month convened a meeting where it was resolved that politicians be involved to break the impasse that has led to the whole project being stalled.
A source who attended the meeting said it was decided that if there was no agreement between the government and the contractor the Ministry of National Housing and Public Works should take over the project.
Hwange has no district hospital and relies on two privately-owned hospitals as referral medical institutions.
Efforts to contact the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, David Parirenyatwa, were unsuccessful.
The source who attended the Hwange District Development Committee meeting said the Ministry of Health could not complete the hospital as it did not have the $200 million needed for the project.