8 February 2018

Zimbabwe: Blood Donors Seek Govt Intervention

Blood donors are seeking the intervention of Government and Parliament in resolving long-standing ownership and leadership disputes within the National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ) following a false start to a proposed emergency general meeting, which was supposed to have been held last week.

The meeting, which was scheduled for last Friday, was postponed after donors rejected the proposed agenda, saying it was not speaking to their grievances. In an interview with The Herald, blood donor and renowned lawyer Mr Rodgers Matsikidze said they wanted Parliament to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate why the Board was refusing to step down. Mr Matsikidze said they wanted Government to ensure that the next emergency general meeting was held within 21 days.

"Donors refused to proceed with the agenda because it was not addressing their expectations. Tomorrow (today), we will be writing to Ministry and Parliament to assist us bring normalcy to this organisation," he said.

Mr Matsikidze said donors wanted the next agenda to be agreed on by both parties not to be set by the board only as was the case with the previous EGM.

"Donors are the ones with grievances, hence their grievances should also be captured in the agenda," said Mr Matsikidze.

The NBSZ chief executive Ms Lucy Marowa concurred with Mr Matsikidze that the meeting failed to materialise.

"We did not finalise anything at the EGM and another meeting is going to be held soon," she said.

The proposed agenda by the board was to deal with matters that included reducing composition of the board members from 17 to not more than nine, reduce term of office for all board members and deliberate on possibility of a takeover of NBSZ operations by Government to lure funding.

Blood donors were clear that they wanted the whole board to resign, taking over of the operations by Government and reduction of board members, among other issues.

NBSZ deputy chairperson Mr Elliot Mugamu refused to shade light on the developments and way forward following the stalemate, referring all questions to chairperson Retired Justice Lesley Smith. Justice Smith could not be reached for comment by the time of going to Press.

NBSZ is an organisation registered under the Companies Act as a company limited by guarantee and mandated to collect, process and distribute blood and blood products to hospitals in Zimbabwe.


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