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City hospital in eviction drama

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There was drama at the privately-owned African Medical Investments (AMI) Hospital yesterday when the Deputy Sheriff tried to evict its workers.

AMI Hospital, in Harare’s Belgravia suburb, has been at the centre of dispute between the new owners and Vivek Solanki who says he built the institution, formerly known as Trauma Centre.

The High Court on Monday threw out an appeal by AMI directors against a ruling that confirmed Solanki as the rightful owner of the institution.

Solanki’s lawyer Everson Samkange, AMI representatives and the Deputy Sherrif were locked in a meeting as the eviction loomed.

Solanki enlisted the services of a private security company, who came armed, to calm down the situation after AMI workers allegedly refused to move out voluntarily.

Speaking to NewsDay, a visibly angry Solanki said he founded the hospital 17 years ago.

“I had been in partnership with AMI Plc, a London Stock Exchange-registered company for ventures in South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe,” he said.

“After AMI failed to honour our agreement, we then abandoned the negotiations for a joint venture in Zimbabwe. I tried to reach an amicable settlement with AMI Plc directors, Andrew Groves, Phil Edmund and an American billionaire, Phillip Falcone, but to no avail,” he added.

Trauma Centre was cited as Autobank Investment in court papers while AMI Plc was cited
as Streamsleigh Investment.

High Court judge Justice Francis Bere dismissed AMI’s appeal with punitive costs, prompting Solanki to enlist the services of the Deputy Sheriff.

But by late yesterday afternoon the eviction had not been carried out.

Commenting on the appeal, Samkange said: “The appeal is not against Autobank Investment and AMI, as such it has no effect on the current order.”

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