Maisha Health, Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe’s medical services unit, has rescued MARS Ambulance service from bankruptcy after acquiring the company from the administrator, Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe chief executive officer Eddie Chibi has said.
In confirming the deal, Mr Chibi said the acquisition will save 200 jobs and ensure that a vital emergency service continues in the country. He added that new investment would be channelled into the ambulance service.
“We would like to ensure that the service comes back to international standards and become the flag bearer in that industry. It will also service our EcoSure customer base, which is over 2 million strong,” Mr Chibi said. Maisha Health also runs other services, including EcoHealth Tips, which currently has more than one million customers. Mr Chibi said the acquisition of MARS would not affect Cassava’s plans to put all ambulances in the country on the Vaya Ambulance service.
“We want to put all ambulances on Vaya Ambulance so that it is easy for anyone to get an ambulance. Even planes and helicopters will be available for medical transfers. MARS will be one of those services,” Mr Chibi said.
Mars was placed under voluntary judicial management in February 2013 in terms of the High Court Order HC 819/13, granted in Harare. Before being placed under judicial management, it had succumbed to a myriad of operational challenges including ballooning debts.