3 in court over Mnene hospital scandal


MNENE Mission Hospital administrator Ziboniso Moyo and two other officials employed by the Health ministry who are based in Harare, yesterday appeared before the Gweru courts facing charges of criminal abuse of office.

Stephen Chadenga

Moyo is being charged together with Richard Dharara, a hospital planning and project manager and Wilbert Madenga, a procurement officer.

Both Dharara and Madenga are based at Kaguvi building in Harare.

Moyo and Dharara face three counts, while Madenga is being charged on one count of criminal abuse of office.

The three are alleged to have flouted tender procedures and inflated prices of equipment procured by the government on behalf of Mnene Mission Hospital.

The three will reappear in court on April 8 for trial. Their defence counsel successfully applied for postponement of the trial citing improper procedure by the State, after the latter had served them with an amended outline yesterday morning.

In postponing trial, regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire said State papers were in shambles and should be put in order before the trial commences.

Nemadire said the case was a 2011 one and further delays were not permissible.

On two counts where Moyo and Dharara are jointly charged, allegations are that in October 2011 Mnene Hospital sought to procure a ceiling mounted X-Ray machine, mobile X-Ray and an X-Ray processor.

On October 25 2011, Moyo allegedly wrote a letter to the permanent secretary in the Health ministry seeking authority to ride on tender quoting complete tenders from United Bulawayo Hospital and Chitsungo Mission Hospital.

Instead of following laid down tender procedures, Moyo and Dharara allegedly connived to use the already processed tenders from United Bulawayo and Chitsungo hospitals.

Due to procedural defects, accused persons bought a mounted X-Ray machine for $180 000 and an X-Ray processor for $45 000, whereas the market prices are $83 000 and $7 000 respectively, giving a favour to Capital Transfer and Food Miles Trading company, who supplied the equipment.

Investigations revealed that the two companies are owned by one person, Mpofu.

On February 1 2012, Moyo and Dharara connived to make a down payment of $100 000 to Food Miles for renovations at Mnene contrary to tender procedures.

In the third count that drags in Moyo, Dharara and Madenga allegations are that on November 8 2011, the three connived and used an already processed tender from Masvingo Provincial Hospital and bought an Auto clave machine for $64 634 instead of $10 500 giving favour to Gift Banda, owner of Harness Investments.

Moyo and Dharara are represented by Misheck Hogwe while Raynos Gumbo represents Madenga.