A cursory web-based search for Phillip Chiyangwa describes him as a Zanu-PF politician, businessman, actor, socialite, football administrator and controversial personality in Zimbabwe.
All these words have been to many people the dictates on Phillip Chiyangwa although with age Zimbabwe is yet to see the mature man who shocks many especially in the rural Zvimba.
Few Zimbabweans can testify to knowing the mature Chiyangwa who is driven by the desire to promote the welfare of others.
That is the meaning of being a philanthropist as expressed especially by Chiyangwa’s generous donation of money to good causes in recent times.
This is something that many in Mashonaland West have experienced. In the past he would do so when he was gunning for political office. Yet now he keeps giving and they are mesmerised.
Chiyangwa explained himself further as he handed over medical supplies, goods and furniture to the Zvimba District Hospital in Murombedzi recently.
“Since we started campaigning I have had these goods at a storeroom in my offices where I was distributing them across Zvimba South.
“Some of the medical supplies, equipment and goods are for expectant and lactating mothers meant for Father O’hea and Banket Hospitals.”
The Zvimba South legislator has also distributed the goods to clinics in the constituency.
However, according to Chiyangwa, the equipment and goods are still overflowing at his offices hence the need to go beyond his constituency.
Zvimba District Hospital, founded in 1957 as Gangarahwe Clinic, serves thousands of villagers in the area hence the drive to keep it equipped.
“I had decided to send these goods to the clinics in my constituency but I thought of my rural area, at Gangarahwe Clinic, as my relatives and constituents also come to this place for treatment,” he said.
Chiyangwa Village is a stone throw away from Murombedzi Growth Point.
The growth point is, however, part of Zvimba West.
Zanu-PF provincial chairman and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi is the MP for the constituency.
It was also refreshing for staff at the hospital as some of the medicines handed over by Chiyangwa had been in short supply for years.
“We have also included BP testing machines, glucometers and various equipment that can be used in the maternity ward.
“We have heard cases where relatives of a patient are asked to provide or are instructed to go and buy drips (for intravenous therapy), which is a challenge on its own so we will also be supplying these.”
Chiyangwa also pledged to keep providing buckets and dishes for women in the maternity section of the hospital.
“All the mothers who give birth at this institution will receive these including food and other essentials,” he said while cautioning the staff at the hospital against re-selling the goods.
“I will continue to do this as part of my social responsibility as a businessman so I should spend money with my people because musi wandinofa ndimi munondiviga imimi vanhu vokwa Zvimba (should I die it is you people from Zvimba who will see to it that I get a decent burial),” he said.
He said although the Zvimba District had four House of Assembly constituencies, it remained a single area which should be developed in unity.
“We want to make sure there is constant supply of essential medicines while we continuously upgrade and maintain the hospitals.
“This would ensure that whenever there is disease outbreaks our hospitals would be in a position to be on top of the situation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zvimba Senator Joseph Chirongoma, whose vehicles have been used for ambulance services for a long time, appealed to Chiyangwa for a vehicle to be turned into an ambulance.
“I have known this place since 1978. I am very grateful to the staff here especially the nurses who are doing a sterling job looking after the hospital and patients.
“Since I have been associated with this hospital I think I am a grandfather to more than a thousand grandchildren after helping their mothers with transport during delivery,” he said.
Senator Chirongoma added: “There is need to move with the time and this place needs a modern ambulance. I have noticed that even the staff compliment has increased so we should continue supporting this health institution.”
Zvimba District Hospital has grown from a small clinic reaching a staff compliment of 23 nurses and three general workers.
The staff, led by Sister-In-Charge Mrs Nyemudzai Tizora, has also been hailed by many for keeping the hospital clean while maintaining the buildings which do not look their age.
As Chiyangwa exhibits a new character different from the past the challenge has been laid on fellow politicians who are not good at keeping their promises.
The Zimbabwe Football Association and COSAFA president has shocked many moving seamlessly from handling football business, politics adding philanthropy to his “bag of tricks”.
So at what point does a politician stop working for the people?
The die has been cast. And surprisingly from an “unlikely” source.
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