Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe is adding to its portfolio of health companies by acquiring ambulance operator MARS Ambulance service. The acquisition comes at time when MARS was nearing bankruptcy.
In confirming the deal to the Herald, Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe CEO Eddie 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.
MARS will be part of Maisha Health, Maisha is a digital health assistant designed to help individuals identify symptoms of illnesses sooner rather than later.
“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.
Vaya recently announced that the company plans to register tractors and ambulances on to its platform. 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.
Mars was placed under voluntary judicial management in February 2013 in terms of the High Court Order HC 819/13, granted in Harare. At the time Mars applied for judicial management, it had lost 45 percent of its revenue due to the liquidity crunch and increased competition emanating from companies that offer the same services.
Mars was also affected by hyperinflation which depleted its capacity to replenish ambulances, medical equipment as well as other critical resources.