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Byo doctors in fight over name

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A FIERCE legal battle has ensued between a prominent Bulawayo medical doctor Stella Ovuapoyerin Achinulo, who owns Parkade Clinic, and Dr Jimmy Gazi who once operated surgeries in Bulawayo before relocating to the Diaspora, over the use of the clinic name.

RICHARD MUPONDE
SENIOR COURT REPORTER

Gazi has been accused of stealing Achinulo’s Parkade Clinic trade name and using it to open his surgeries after the latter refused to partner with him on his return from the Diaspora.

Gazi opened two surgeries in Bulawayo under the Parkade Clinic name, which has allegedly confused patients over and above attracting the ire of Achinulo.

Achinulo approached the Bulawayo High Court seeking an interdict barring Gazi from using her trade name.

Gazi, Dr E Mucheni and Dr R Mucheni, who man one of Gazi’s surgeries at Railmed Building along 8th Avenue, have been cited as respondents.

In her founding affidavit, Achinulo said Gazi stole her trade name after she refused to partner with him last year when he returned from the Diaspora.

“Around October 2103, the first respondent (Gazi) came to my clinic at QV House (Parkade Clinic). He said that he was returning from the Diaspora in Swaziland and wanted to start practicing medicine in Zimbabwe again. He asked to join me in my private practice as a partner. However, I did not know him well and did not need a partner, so I declined his offer. I, however, told him that I could sublet some space to him as long as he ran his premises independently of mine. He said he would think about it and let me know of his decision in due course,” Achinulo said.

Achinulo moved into QV House in July 2011 after two other doctors who were leasing the premises moved out.

Gazi once used the same premises before he left the country, but was not using the name Parkade Clinic, which Achinulo registered with the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council of Zimbabwe in 2011.

Achinulo said after declining to partner with Gazi, he started frequenting her clinic and spending a lot of time with her workers in her absence.

“On one occasion I arrived at my chambers earlier than expected and found him there. I then told him that it was not proper for him to be spending time with my staff in my absence. During the course of our discussion, I disclosed to him that I would, in fact, be moving to other premises at the end of 2013 and that if he still wanted to operate from the premises he could lease the premises himself,” Achinulo said.

After she moved out, Gazi reportedly chased away a contractor who had been tasked to remove her trade name from the premises and started using the name himself.

He allegedly also hired a nurse who was once employed by Achinulo who is reportedly now manning the premises alone in breach of the law and he also went on to open another branch at the Railmed Building which is being manned by two doctors using Achinulo’s trademark name.

The matter is yet to be set down for hearing at the High Court.

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