Church leaders lobby for the use of Ekusileni medical centre

Church leaders in Bulawayo had a closed door meeting with the Minister of Bulawayo Metropolitan and His worship the Mayor of Bulawayo lobbying for the use of Ekusileni Medical Centre as a quarantine unit for people diagnosed with corona virus.

Speaking during the meeting, church leaders comprising of bishops from different denominations said it was wiser for the authorities to use Ekusileni Medical Centre as an isolation unit since it is idle and had better facilities than Thorngroove hospital.

“As the Bishops we request that instead of using Thorngroove hospital as a quarantine unit, use Ekusileni. The medical centre has better facilities and it is not in use. This will be the best time to open the hospital and quarantine people in Bulawayo,” said Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA) board member, Bishop Patson Netha.

Present at the meeting was the Presidential affairs minister, Joram Gumbo, who promised to talk to the minister responsible in the case of using Ekusileni Medical Centre as an isolation unit.

“I will talk to the responsible minister with regards to the use of the Ekusileni Medical centre. We appreciate the ideas that you are sharing with us because no one thought of utilizing this hospital,” he said.

He said that it was important for people to unite and come up with possible solutions in times of a crisis.

“At times we need to put aside our differences as people and work for a common goal. This virus is a crisis that we need to be prepared for and that means everyone has to contribute towards it,” he said.

Other issues that were discussed during the meeting included the need for the churches to split their services to have smaller groupings of congregants or consider shutting down till further notice.

“We are yet to sit down as the church and come up with possible ways of addressing the issue of corona virus in our churches. We are still debating on whether we shut down the church till further notice or we split our services into two or three depending on the capacity of the church,” said Bishop Sinda Ngulube.

In an interview with Sunday News, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance Executive Director, Reverend Useni Sibanda said churches can use their cell groups instead of congregating at their respective churches.

“Most churches have cell groups, those can be converted into sunday worship services as they have fewer people. The danger however, is that even if we have 100 people in a church service, if one person is infected there is a risk of infecting the whole group. So, the smaller the groupings the better,” he said.

Rev Sibanda said churches must also cancel things like baptisms and confirmations and find a way in which Holy Communion could be done differently.

Yesterday, the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, ordered that schools should be closed next week Tuesday to ensure that the spread of corona virus is controlled and minimized.

Source: Zimbabwe Christian Alliance

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