Mnene hospital officials to appear in court

by Shingirai Huni | Sunday, Feb 22, 2015 | 2501 views

Midlands Correspondent
POLICE have finished investigating Mnene Mission Hospital in Mberengwa after the institution’s officials allegedly defrauded the institution of about $400 000 by flouting tender procedures and inflating prices of equipment procured by Government.

Impeccable sources have revealed to Sunday News that a hospital official, Zibusiso Moyo, had been formally charged with fraud together with national procurement officer Wilbert Madenga and national projects and planning officer Richard Dharara.

Sunday News is reliably informed that the docket has been taken to the Gweru resident prosecutor and the matter has been referred to the regional court for assessment before a trial date is set. The matter is likely to be heard this week.

Four other officials who include the hospital matron Sister Danai Chauke, administrator Noel Moyo, finance director Comfort Shumba and Yvonne Manyawo were also fingered but were yet to be charged.

Deputy Officer Commanding Midlands police Assistant Commissioner Musarashana Mabunda said the matter was being handled by the fraud section of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

He referred questions to Officer Commanding CID Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Chituku who could neither deny nor confirm investigations.

“I am not allowed to speak to the Press. I advise you to get hold of the national police spokesperson,” said Asst Comm Chituku.

National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba recently confirmed that Madenga and Dharara were being investigated by police together with other officials.

Midlands provincial medical director Dr Milton Chemhuru said the Ministry of Health and Child Care had charged Lutheran Church to conduct the investigations under the ministry’s supervision.

“The hearing for the Mnene officials will be done soon. The Mission will conduct the hearing but we are going to send our representatives,” he said.

Dr Chemhuru said the ministry had completed internal investigations into the matter and roped in police as the law enforcers.

He said a report was compiled by the investigations committee and submitted to the health ministry permanent secretary.

“A report has been compiled and there were some recommendations made. I have submitted the report to the permanent secretary and the ministry,” said Dr Chemhuru.

Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa recently said he had instructed the permanent secretary to deal with the matter administratively.

“The issue at Mnene is a criminal issue of people who abused funds. I have assigned the permanent secretary to deal with the matter administratively,” he said then.

Allegations are that the four officials connived with two senior Government officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Care to forge the permanent secretary’s date stamp to approve tenders resulting in the Lutheran-run institution being prejudiced of about $400 000.

In the report seen by Sunday News, one of the officials at the hospital, Moyo, allegedly connived with Madenga and Dharara to mislead the hospital executive board, violate tender procedures and avoid the district medical officer and provincial medical director.

It is alleged that Madenga and Dharara would steal the permanent secretary’s date stamp to approve the tenders and bypass some of the senior officials and approve some of the procurements, a mandate beyond their capacity.

The investigations committee recommended that the two be charged with corruption and be investigated by the police for criminal abuse of office and forgery.

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