HEALTH and Childcare Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo on Friday publicly broke his silence against reports trying to discredit his ministerial appointment.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Press reports alongside social media rants allegedly claiming he was a ‘medical imposter’ not fit for the job had turned to popular belief. Reports alleged he was not a registered medical practitioner with the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe, neither was he schooled in West Indies nor the UK.
But Dr Moyo who makes it a habit to digress into the ‘medical achievements’ memory lane whenever officiating events, made it clear to the Health Professions Authority (HPA) conference that he was a registered medical practitioner.
He made frequently referenced his school mates and lecturers who were in attendance digging deep into his heydays. Contrary to the popular belief, even the HPA president Dr Adolf Macheka when introducing the Minister cited that Dr Moyo developed Chitungwiza Hospital from the ramshackled state to a state of the art facility as well as confirming many medical positions held by the incumbent Health Minister.
Dr Moyo said he was a member of the Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientists Council of Zimbabwe before joining HPA where he rose through the ranks to become its President. Becoming Chief Executive Officer for Chitungwiza Central Hospital he transformed the hospital to become the only ISO certified central hospital in the country.
“Naturally when I got to Chitungwiza hospital the first thing I did was to establish a dialysis unit. It is really running well and we have expanded to create a renal transplant unit. And in so doing, I also engaged in a Master’s Degree in Kidney Transplant. So I was actually asked to become Minsiter when I was in the middle of my Masters’ degree,” he said.
Dr Moyo defended his CV saying he studied at a West Indies University.
“I have always been one for further education, and taking advantage of utilizing the existing protocols, and gone to do further education, as an adult. I even did my studies in Medicine, as an adult, and I qualified with a degree in Medicine as an Adult, and that was a big achievement to be going to school, when you have gone quite a few years with the problem of kids and all that. I was in the West Indies. I got time off from our Public Service Commission, and I managed to get some time off on the Manpower Development Leave. I went there, it was a different world all together in the Caribbean, and whichever corner you look at you will be looking at tourists. So I concentrated on school rather than looking at tourists.
“And I got quite a few distinctions in my class. I have been in touch with other members of my class, and they have also done very well. Some are in the United States Government as top officials and I was saying to them that by the way I am now a top official. One of them is Secretary of State, in the United States, and the others are in the United Kingdom. From the islands where I did my pre-clinicals, I ended up with about five distinctions, because I was an adult student who was clever and who was from Zimbabwe. And then I went for my clinical studies in the United Kingdom, Kings College Hospital, in the University of London, and I also did my clinicals here at Parirenyatwa Hospital.
“And for my Masters I was lucky…was I lucky?…or….I had some tough examiners, who included Professor Matarira, and Dr Samkange, Mr Samkange. They wanted a pathologist as part of the examining team, but the nephrologist had gone back to England. So they roped in Mr Samkange so he became my examiner,” he narrated.
He said he was part of the chosen few to graduate amongst Professor Lovemore Gwanzura who teaches Medical Microbiology at UZ.
The Minister also said he was called to become the Minister while focusing on a Masters’ programme.
“And in so doing, I also engaged in a Master’s Degree in Kidney Transplant. So I was actually asked to become Minsiter when I was in the middle of my Masters’ degree. But I will still find time to complete the programme. The people from my college were saying the output, is tremendous and they like me to finalise the programme. So it’s a good thing. You have to know exactly what you are doing. Gain the knowledge of whatever project you are starting,” he said.
He also reminisced how the late former Minister of Health Dr Timothy Stamps nicknamed him ‘Obadialysis’ noting his passion for renal care.
“The Late Dr Timothy Stamps called me father of dialysis. Dr Timothy Stamps said You are Obadialysis. Obadialysis. How very apt,” he said.
He said all this and more to clarify the misinformation on his person.
“We have to live with this. So Im just telling you this so that you get the correct information. Rather than other means of information,” Dr Moyo said.
Fortifying Dr Moyo’s defence was his lecturer Professor Hilda-Tendisa Marima-Matarira who told HealthTimes that she had his thesis at her office.
She also said it was unfair for the HPA to remain mum when her student is being attacked.
HPA President Dr Adolf Macheka explained it was beyond their pay grade to comment on the matter.
“We do not make appointments and therefore are not in a position to comment on political appointments. Our minister is appointed by our President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and none of us are qualified to then make statements with regards to such appointments. So I want to make this abundantly clear,” he said.