Four held for gang rape of four­teen-year-old at party

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Temba Dube Nqo­bile Tshili

MPILO Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal ex­ec­u­tives acted as a syndicate to fraud­u­lently bleed mil­lions of dol­lars from the in­sti­tu­tion’s cof­fers, a re­cently con­cluded in­ter­nal au­dit has re­vealed.

The au­dit, cov­er­ing the pe­riod be­tween Jan­uary 2012 and May 2015, shows that the ac­count­ing sys­tem at one of the coun­try’s big­gest re­fer­ral hospi­tals was vir­tu­ally non-ex­is­tent.

Au­di­tors said of­fi­cials abused re­sources and funds with­out ac­count­abil­ity.

They have rec­om­mended that im­pli­cated of­fi­cials should be charged sep­a­rately and jointly where ap­pro­pri­ate un­der the first sched­ule of the Health Ser­vices Reg­u­la­tions of 2006 and Trea­sury In­struc­tion 0435 and 2404.

They also rec­om­mended that they be tried in a crim­i­nal court as well. The au­dit con­cluded that the sys­tem at Mpilo Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal was very por­ous and ac­count­abil­ity al­most non-ex­is­tent, leav­ing it open to abuse by of­fi­cials.

The fi­nan­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion showed there was no record of statu­tory trea­sury al­lo­ca­tions in the last three years, although the gov­ern­ment re­leased mil­lions to the hos­pi­tal over the pe­riod.

The disappearance of GOZ files for 2012, 2013, and 2014 and re­nal reg­is­ter un­der un­clear cir­cum­stances, hin­dered au­dit in­spec­tion, reads the re­port in The Chron­i­cle’s pos­ses­sion.

The hos­pi­tal, ac­cord­ing to the records, was run with­out a pur­chase plan with un­ap­proved sup­pli­ers some­times given dou­ble pay­ment for rel­a­tively ex­pen­sive goods.

The ex­ec­u­tives would al­legedly use money from the Health Ser­vices Fund, meant to equip the hos­pi­tal, to BU­L­AWAYO po­lice have ar­rested four men, in­clud­ing a mar­ried nurse, who al­legedly gang-raped a 14-yearold Form Two girl at a party.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened last week on Thurs­day at a house in Bar­bour­fields sub­urb.

Sources said the sus­pects, aged 24, 26, 27 and the 37-year-old nurse, took turns to rape the teenager, who is a pupil at Eve­line Girls High School, after host lav­ish meet­ings at ho­tels for the ten­der and buy­ing com­mit­tees.

Sources from the Min­istry of Health and Child Care yes­ter­day said the Health Ser­vice Board (HSB), on Tues­day for­mally charged four ex­ec­u­tives who were sus­pended in April to pave way for the au­dit.

More of­fi­cials, the sources said, will be charged dur­ing the course of this month.

“An official from the cen­tral buy­ing unit, He­bron Mutema, has been added to the list of of­fi­cials ac­cused of fraud­u­lent be­hav­iour and abuse of of­fice,” said a in­tox­i­cat­ing her.

The sus­pects can­not be named to pro­tect the iden­tity of the vic­tim.

The source said the 37-year-old mar­ried nurse is sta­tioned at Mpilo Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal.

Act­ing po­lice spokesper­son for Bu­l­awayo Metropoli­tan Prov­ince, As­sis­tant In­spec­tor Abed­nico Ncube said the four are as­sist­ing po­lice with in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“We’re hold­ing four men in con­nec­tion with the rape of a ju­ve­nile. We can’t dis­close their names to pro­tect the mi­nor,” said Asst Insp Ncube. source, who can­not be named for pro­fes­sional rea­sons.

Mutema al­legedly con­nived with other of­fi­cials to fa­cil­i­tate dou­ble pay­ment to sup­pli­ers.

He, it is al­leged, would send cash and an RTGS to pay the same sup­plier for the same goods, said the source.

The four sus­pended ex­ec­u­tives, the source said, have been for­mally charged with a to­tal of 20 counts of mis­con­duct and abuse of of­fice.

Op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor, Regina Duduza Moyo, is fac­ing 11 counts. Mx­olisi Sibanda, the chair­per­son of the cen­tral buy­ing unit, is fac­ing five, fi­nance di­rec­tor,

He said the four first got the 14-year-old girl drunk be­fore rap­ing her.

“They gave the girl al­co­hol at the party after she had been in­vited by one of her friends. The four then took the teenager to a se­cluded room where they took turns to rape her,” said the act­ing po­lice spokesper­son for Bu­l­awayo.

Asst Insp Ncube ap­pealed to youths to de­sist from tak­ing al­co­holic bev­er­ages and other in­tox­i­cat­ing sub­stances as they will be ex­posed to abuse.

“We want to urge teenagers not to par­tic­i­pate in beer drink­ing par­ties. Th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties de­stroy lives and Charles Govo, has one count and Dr Lawrence Man­tiz­iba three, said the source with­out giv­ing fur­ther de­tails.

The hos­pi­tal’s board chair­per­son, Che­le­sile Moy­oNcube, said the in­ter­nal au­dit had un­earthed a hot­bed of cor­rup­tion.

“We’ve been ad­vised more peo­ple will be charged. The au­dit has re­vealed more se­ri­ous fraud than the ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion done by PNA Ac­coun­tants,” said Moyo-Ncube. ex­pose them to all forms of abuse,” he said.

Re­cent po­lice statis­tics re­veal that 56 per­cent of rape cases in Bu­l­awayo in­volve mi­nors.

In the first six months of the year 136 rape cases were recorded in the city.

Po­lice said of the 136 cases, 75 of them in­volved mi­nor chil­dren.

This year’s statis­tics re­veal a 15 per­cent de­crease com­pared to last year. Be­tween Jan­uary and June last year, the city recorded 160 cases com­pared to 136 cases dur­ing the same pe­riod this year.

Asst Insp Ncube said although the cases de­creased, the fig­ures were still high and of con­cern as crime needs to be erad­i­cated com­pletely.

“We hope to wit­ness a fur­ther de­crease in rape cases. As po­lice, we en­vis­age a crime free so­ci­ety. Par­ents shouldn’t leave their chil­dren in the cus­tody of male rel­a­tives as we’ve noted that most cases of child abuse in­volve rel­a­tives,” he said.

Po­lice have re­peat­edly called on par­ents to play a lead­ing role in en­sur­ing the safety of their chil­dren. The po­lice said they could not suc­cess­fully deal with the way­ward be­hav­iour of chil­dren with­out the sup­port of par­ents.

Lawrence Man­tiz­iba Mpilo Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal in Bu­l­awayo

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