Scandal rocks Mpilo

CASH-STRAPPED Mpilo Central Hospital could have been fleeced of millions of dollars through a suspected well-orchestrated scam in which fake receipts were issued to patients and service providers by the accounts department working in cahoots with others since dollarisation of the economy in 2009.

NQOBILE BHEBHE

The multi-million-dollar scam could have prejudiced the major referral hospital of revenue resulting in the institution struggling to meet its obligations.

The suspected scam comes two months after Health and Child Welfare deputy minister Douglas Mombeshora expressed concern over levels of corruption at the hospital with some staffers allegedly inflating prices of drugs and other goods supplied to the hospital and pocketing the money.

Mpilo Central Hospital chief executive officer Lawrence Mantiziba told NewsDay yesterday that they had discovered that several receipt books long being phased out were still in circulation at the institution.

“One of our patients recently produced a receipt which is no longer in circulationand we instituted investigations,” Mantiziba said.

“We interviewed staff on the origins of the fake receipt, but no one owned up. Even the person who is in charge of the receipt books professed ignorance saying he was on leave, and true he was.

Therefore, we have decided to go open about the issue and call on all people that received any treatment since 2009 to come forward with their receipts for verification.”

Mantiziba said it was difficult at this stage to say how much the
hospital could have lost through the scam.

“It is extremely difficult at this stage to put a figure,” he said. “This is because we are not yet sure on the magnitude of the matter and whether it was a once-off or is an ongoing thing.”

However, Mantiziba said no one would be victimised for coming forward with a receipt that would turn out to be fake.

“If we detect that the patient’s receipt is a fake one, the board and management would have to decide on whether the patient should repay. As an institute we have a register of all patients and some are in arrears. So people should come forward and assist us crack down the scam sooner rather than later,” Mantiziba added.

The hospital has since put up posters advising patients and service providers to be wary of fake receipts with numbers before or after 929076H.

“All patients or clients who were issued with such receipts within the last four years (2009 to date) on payment of hospital bills or any services are advised to come to Mpilo and present to or contact the director of finance or chief executive officer and Zimbabwe Republic Police,” reads part of the notice.

“If you were issued such receipts, your account may still be in outstanding or not cleared.”

Last month, the city’s largest referral hospital engaged debt collectors to recover over $8 million owed by patients.

7 Comments

  1. well, who was supposed to do the auditing in the first place? how often is auditing done at that institution? what is the day to day role of those who supervise the clerks? are those supervisors not coming to contact with receipts on daily basis? didnt they see it happening or they were part of the scam, that is, if ever there is a scam?

    on a different note, lets try and recall how the past CEO was removed. she was elbowed out just because she was deemed to be aligned to zapu. remember the ministry of health is headed by MDC-T, so is this not witch-hunting?

    if its a genuine discovery, lets have the culprits arrested and also those who were supervising them fired as soon as there is evidence that the hospital lost revenue.

  2. @Black Crow

    Do you really have the facts or you are just trying to inflame a situation which you are not aware of for political milleage? Often times, knowledge is deemmed to be power, and the lack of it is dangerous. You seem to have a kwashioker for knowledge on the subject matter-you are therefore scribing dangerous inflamatory philosophiesand trying to blow a very small issue out ofproportion.

    First of all, Mpilo Hospital corruption has featured in the local media since asfar back as 2005: check the Chronicle paper. Second, the story above is based on eveidence. The CEO says they intercepted a fake receipt-a withc hunt is based on heresay not facts.This CEO has the mandate to investigate frauds-infact, failure to do that is an act of misconduct in the civil service. Why then do you take a simple investigation of fraqudulent receipts to be a political witch-hunt. You people do not want to face up to the truth. There was a time folks were denigrating the Ministry of Finance for neglecting to fund hospitals in Matabililand supposedly as political punishment for being far away from Harare and what not nonsense. Mpilo is just a bee hive of corruption its that simple and that has been going on since the donkeys started braying. Thirdly, CEO’s in the public sector are appointed and dis-appointed (fired) in consultation with the Public Service Commission (or delegated authority -in this case the Health Services Board), the Minister and The President’s Office. It is common knowledge that a labour contract does not ommit such things as consequences of poor performance and so on. Did you factor in all these factors before accusing the current MDC minister of political witch-hunting? Your script seems to therefore imply that the whole Ministry of Health is an MDC territory and the deputy minister Mombeshora who broke the story is an appendage of MDC and the Minister. But was it not innthe last parliamentary outline of election appointments that Mombeshora is ZANU PF. You know the MDC minister does not have powers to persecute any CEO for political reasons. There is the president’s office as a nuetraliser, as well as the Public Services Commission ( Health Services Board). Are you sure the previous CEO was competent enough, was not corrupt? Then why was the chronicle lamenting of corruption at Mpilo Hospital for the past 7 years? And why has Mpilo deteriorated drastically since then? Surely people are not kept in office because they belong to a certain political party, but because they perform well. In the case of Mpilo my friend, all roads lead to Rome where corruption is manufactured. That is what has killed this institution-politics and tribalism aside. Somebody has to hang for it. Please take time to do proper research so that your contributions are well meaning and helpful.

    1. its so interesting that you chose to focus on my second paragraph and conveniently ignored the 1st and last. what is my third and last paragraph saying? you have very poor debating skills my brother/sister.

      so at mdc-t if somebody opposes you, you respond with insults? what do you mean when you say i have kwashioker for knowledge? what then is the difference btwn your party and zanu pf?

      you have poorly marketed your party.

  3. Well as long as you don’t modernise you systems you have no hope in hell of curbing this simple type of corruption. What worries me though is the total collapse of the whole plant which central government is responsible for. What does this CEO have to say about it? Nothing of course.

  4. How can there be fake receipts since 2009?????? What were all the auditors who were coming since then been doing???? Truely the top management is part of this. I believe with the new CEO a lot of hidden things will be discovered, hope he will not also be corrupted by these greedy guys. Thank you Mr lawrence for the job well done. The love of money…………………..

  5. Whal, sounds like a storm in a teaspoon. The hospital fleeced of millions through fake receipts. how much is the hospital making in a year from its official collections? food for thought. Is there anybody benefiting from this sensationalized publicity unfortunately when bulls fight its the grass which suffers.

  6. Nhlanhla Nyambosi

    I think this story was rushed to be published without properly balanced. In the first place how was the ‘fake receipt discovered? The answer is, it was discovered by accounts staff and forwarded it to management. Another question is, what are origins of the fake receipt? Not known for now but is not from Mpilo. In spite of all this how then is Mpilo accounts personnel accused so much when they worked hard to bring such annomarly to light. The big question is, was the case so big to warrant publishing or is every institution running to press when the come across such anormally? My thinking in this story is that there can be a hiden inhouse politics of gaining mailage out of nothing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *