Fake lab tests: Doctor awaits bail ruling
Senior Court Reporter
HARARE magistrate Mrs Judith Taruvinga is today expected to deliver a ruling on Dr Michael Mandaza’s bail application in a matter he is accused of issuing fake medical laboratory tests at patients visiting Euro-Pacific 24-Hour Private Hospital located in Mabvuku, Harare.
Mandaza, through his lawyer, applied for bail when he appeared in court on fraud and money laundering charges.
The State led by Mr Anesu Chirenje opposed to granting of his bail saying he was a flight risk and that they had a strong case against him because of the overwhelming evidence they were in possession of.
Mr Chirenje also told the court that investigations were still on-going and Mandaza was likely to interfere with witnesses once granted bail.
Mandaza, in his bail application, told the court that he was not involved in any fraud as the State alleges.
He told the court that the allegations were as a result of fabrications by his workmates, who were plotting his downfall.
“I never performed any fraud on anyone. My office is a public office that many staffers uses at work.
“There are four doctors at the hospital and anyone has access to the office which is open 24/7.
“This was a trap considering the number of officers who came to the hospital and what they saw was contrary to what they expected.
“The ZACC officers were told that I was involved in money laundering of almost half a million or US$200 000, but that is not what they found,” he said.
Mandaza told the court that he was surprised as to why the hospital was not being sued as well since he was only an employee.
He said the hospital is run by a board with Mr Kenneth Machinjike being the general manager.
“The hospital is not before the court and State case is as weak as it was fabricated,” he said.
He said he was prepared to deposit $10 000 as bail.
The State had it that on June 14 Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) received information to the effect that Mandaza was involved in suspiciously issuing medical laboratory tests to patients at his hospital.
On July 12, ZACC officers raided his hospital at Kamunhu Shopping Centre and at his place of residence in Zimre Park where patient files, Sampling Diagnostic Laboratory date stamp and computers were recovered.
It is the State’s case that Mandaza would cause patients visiting his hospital to have blood, sputum and other samples for tests for a fee between US$40 and US$80.
Mr Zinyandu alleges that after submitting the samples, Mandaza would manufacture ficticious computer generated results and authenticate them by a Sampling Diagnostic Laboratoiry stamp.
The court heard that police checks revealed that Sampling Diagnostic Laboratory was not registered with Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientists Council of Zimbabwe and the Health Professional Authority of Zimbabwe.
Further checks allegedly revealed that Sampling Diagnostic Laboratory is not located at No 13 Robson Manyika Avenue in Harare and that it was not registered.
The court heard that investigators were forced to break Mandaza’s personal locker where they recovered about 1000 files dating back from 2017.