NATIONAL Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) board has reportedly hijacked the blood bank amidst indications that it is refusing to relinquish power and is blocking donors’ calls to allow government to have a say in the affairs of the entity.
By Michael Gwarisa Impeccable sources who spoke to HealthTimes soon after the NBSZ crunch meeting which was held yesterday said the board which is being chaired by Justice Lesley Smith wants to maintain the status quo in which the entity is being run more as personal private property. “The donors rejected the meeting’s agenda completely, they did not mince their words, they want the board to be dissolved and they want a committee to be set up. What the Board also did was trying to sort of trigger confusion between government and donors. “The board members have actually hijacked the National Blood Service, it’s is now their private property. That’s is why Smith has been there since there since 1977, most of the board members have no clean records that is why they want to scuttle the whole process to transform the blood service. “No consensus was reached as majority of blood donors rejected the agenda and questioned the proxies’ process that was done by the board secretary and favoured the board. They said they will set up a new meeting with a new agenda which would also suit what the donors want.” The blood donors however want a committee to be set up to look at the model of running blood services and indications are that in most countries in the region and beyond, government have a say in the affairs of their blood services. The meeting however ended at a stalemate and parties agreed to reconvene in the next 21 days.
The current NBSZ board comprises of Jusitice Smith, Elliot Mugamu, Rabin Mugamu, Ganga Raju, Sipho Bulle, David Tandiri, Nhanhla Mlauzi, Professor Arthur Mandisodza, Mr Syney Makarawo (MoHCC), Mr Leonard Mabandi (MoHCC) and Radhi Chikwereti the board secretary.
“The board chair Justice Smith was very arrogant in the meeting, it appeared as if he was chairing a court case or something trying to quiz blood donors with some unnecessary questions which are of no value to the organisation .
“Also of concern is that there is no female representation on the board and this is worrisome as 40% of the blood foes to maternity,” added the sources.
Blood donors said they want to find the best model of running the entity and questioned the board on their stance to reject government intervention not considering the fact that government injected more than $4 million towards the NBSZ.