Mpilo sends $240 bill to dead man

(File Photo) Mpilo Central Hospital
(File Photo) Mpilo Central Hospital
(File Photo) Mpilo Central Hospital

A BULAWAYO man has accused Mpilo Central Hospital of being insensitive to him after the institution sent a $240 bill for his son who died on the operating table in April.


Darlington Mangwiro died on April 24 as doctors prepared to carry out a minor operation for an undisclosed ailment.

On May 15, the hospital sent a letter addressed to Mangwiro asking him to settle the account immediately before his name could be sent to debt collectors.

Mangwiro’s father, Mutemo, told Southern Eye that he was not happy with the way his son’s case was handled by the hospital and the unexpected bill made the situation worse.

“My son walked to the hospital and the following day he was certified dead,” Mutemo said.

“I am concerned about operations of the theatre and the general hospital administration. How many people are treated this way?”

He said the death of his son came as a shock because his condition before he went for the operation was not life-threatening.

“My son was in his last year studying geology at the School of Mines,” Mangwiro said. “The system has collapsed, they are busy cheating people,”

Mpilo Central Hospital acting chief executive officer Leonard Mabadi refused to comment saying the Mangwiro family should have approached him directly if they had any grievance.

“If the parent has an issue, he must come to the hospital and not to Southern Eye,” Mabadi said. “I do not see why he has to come to you when I have an office. I am sorry, I have no comment.”

The hospital in March engaged debt collectors to recover debts that had reportedly reached $10 million by the end of last year.

Mpilo Central Hospital, like many other government health institutions, is struggling to sustain operations due to dwindling funding.

However, the aggressive methods used in trying to recover debts from its mostly poor former patients has been criticised as insensitive.


  1. Thus Mpilo for you. I feel your pain, I also did receive a bill for my late mother but from the debt collectors. I was forced to pay it as I was her next of kin.

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