Judge raps State over Magombeyi detention

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE/RUTENDO MATANHIKE/NQOBANI NDLOVU

Judge president Justice George Chiweshe yesterday dismissed the State’s urgent chamber application to stop Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) leader Peter Magombeyi from leaving the country for South Africa to seek medical attention.

The State had submitted that it wanted more than two more days to carry out forensic tests before Magombeyi could leave the country.

The State had also asked the court to be allowed to “escort” Magombeyi and “provide him with security” to South Africa, but the judge dismissed the application, saying it was an illegal detention by the State.

“It is ordered that respondents or anyone acting through them are hereby ordered to release Peter Magombeyi forthwith and in any event no later than an hour of them being served with this order,” Justice Chiweshe’s ruling read in part.

Police on Tuesday challenged a High Court order issued earlier by Justice Happius Zhou allowing Magombeyi to travel to the neighbouring country. Police argued they were still carrying out investigations on his alleged abduction.

Meanwhile, MPs yesterday put government to task for blocking Magombeyi from seeking medical attention outside the country and in defiance of a High Court order.

Harare Central legislator Zwizwai Murisi (MDC Alliance) questioned whether police had the final decision in allowing an individual to seek medical treatment outside the country.

“I would like clarification on your ruling Mr Speaker, I think that the follow-up question was to say that if an individual’s decision to seek treatment outside the country depended on payment and affordability, is it government policy to then have further requirements before an individual can go and seek treatment outside the country?” Zwizwai asked.

Zengeza West legislator Job Sikhala (MDC Alliance) questioned what steps government was undertaking to ensure Magombeyi was allowed his right to leave the country to access health care in South Africa.

“Since the government cannot decide where an individual can seek treatment, we have an issue where the government through the police is denying Magombeyi to seek treatment outside the country. What measures are being taken by government to ensure that Magombeyi accesses medical attention in South Africa considering that police are hindering this process?” he asked.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda dismissed the issue, arguing that the case was currently before the courts.

“This matter has gone to court and we cannot in Parliament interfere with the court process. Let us wait and hear what the court will say,” Mudenda said.

Meanwhile, MDC treasurer-general David Coltart implored the international community to “flex” its muscles against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government for allegedly blocking Magombeyi from seeking medical treatment in South Africa.

Magombeyi, who is ZHDA acting president, has been prevented from travelling to the neighbouring country to seek medical treatment following his alleged abduction and torture by suspected State security agents.

Coltart accused government of being “increasingly paranoid” and fearing medical examinations in South Africa might prove Magombeyi was “tortured, electrocuted or even poisoned (or injected with other substances)”.

“The international community must flex its muscles … Having gone to court, Magombeyi has exhausted his domestic remedies against a regime which has scant regard for the rule of law and constitutionalism,” Coltart said.

“It appears his life may depend on a robust demand being made by the international community. (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa himself must be left in no doubt about the severe consequences of this barbaric conduct demonstrated by his government today. In short, the international community must speak out to compel the Mnangagwa regime to allow Magombeyi to seek urgently medical treatment in South Africa,” Coltart added.

“It appears that the regime, confronted by a decision between the devil and the deep blue sea, has now decided that it must prevent Magombeyi from travelling to get this further medical diagnosis and treatment.”

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa in a statement said government was not holding Magombeyi against his will.

“Satisfied that his personal security is guaranteed, government will ensure that Dr Magombeyi is free to travel to a place of his choice without hindrance,” she told journalists in Harare yesterday.

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5 Comments

  1. What did Magombeyi’s doctors find when they examined him? You cannot accuse the government of torture and after being given oportunity to prove it and then you remain mum. Did you find any signs of torture when you examined him all these days? It looks like you did not and you want to find alternative lies to tell the world. If Magombeyi is not mentaly sound, what makes it sensible that what he is saying about being tortured is correct? Is it a given fact that mad people will always say the truth about Ed and his government? Coltart must be reminded that Zimbabwe belongs to blacks with the dark skin suitable for an invironment with plenty of sun shine. If he not aware of a geographical location suitable for him, we will gladly show him. Africa is for africans and we do not want europeans who stray into our land and start disturbing our peace. What substance are you planning to inject Peter with so that you can accuse our President? Vamagombeyi senior must wake up musati maurairwa mwana with these white pigs.

    1. I think Farai J Nhire you must be one of the CIO involved with abduction of the innocent Doctor, Your brain need to be examined. If it was not a true abduction why are they delaying him to go to South Africa for further tests. They want their substance not to be detected after 2 or more days.

  2. Magombeyi was never abducted. The bone of contention in the whole saga is the honour that our first lady was billed to receive from Havard University. The opposition picked a rumour that Mai Mnangagwa would be honoured by the university for her hard work in the field of health and the Mdc thought that staging an abduction of a doctor and inciting the other doctors to strike would make Amai Mnangagwa unsuitable for the honour. The staged abduction and the total shut down of water supply to Harare by mdc city fathers are not isolated events. These were well cordinated but poorly disguised actions meant to trigger a serious health disaster at the time our president and his wife are representing us at the un summit. You do not have to be exceptionaly smart to see through some of these things. Okay, if the doctor was tortured and injected with whatever substance, why are the doctors not telling the world so, that they have had opportunity to see him? The answer is simple, such things never happened. No evidence!!!

    1. so who is actually telling the truth here?

  3. Police have denied the Doctor to go for further medical check-ups after an initial court ruling. Now a higher court has not only called it an illegal detention but strongly condemned the police actions. The Police’s motive can only be speculated at the moment… speculations aided by the regime’s rogue human rights record. The regime’s response through Mutsvangwa fuels that speculation… the regime has dirty hands on this issue.

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