BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) on Sunday seized training equipment for doctors and nurses at Mpilo Central Hospital demanding £3 000 duty from an international organisation that sourced the kit for kidney biopsy.
The trainers from the United Kingdom arrived in Bulawayo on Sunday under the International Society of Nephrology’s Educational Ambassador organisation.
They began training doctors and nurses yesterday, but indicated that the seized equipment would affect the training programme.
Head of the delegation Nitin Kolhe, along with two senior nurses, Carol Rhodes and Claire Mcguire started training the health practitioners yesterday on how to perform and interpret kidney biopsy.
Other components of the training involve learning how to place a peritoneal dialysis catheter and performing peritoneal dialysis.
The training is expected to end on Friday.
Kolhe told Southern Eye yesterday that failure to release the equipment was a major blow to their training as they needed to practically demonstrate the use of the equipment to the trainees.
“They have kept the machines (at) Customs and those same machines are supposed to be used to demonstrate how they work. Some of the machines that were seized by Zimra included the ultra sound machine, pectoral dialysis, renal deoxy, needles, sutures and suturing tray,” Kolhe said.
“If the equipment is not released, we would have travelled over 400 miles for nothing. They are saying we should deposit a duty of £3 000. I bought the ultra sound machine because I was not sure if they had such equipment in Bulawayo and we will be taking the machine back, but the rest of the things they are supposed to keep here.
“They have kept the equipment and today is Monday, we are having the afternoon session without the equipment. For example, I am planning on how to teach the peritoneal dialysis and that equipment is needed,” he said.
Mpilo Central Hospital chief executive officer Leonard Mabhandi confirmed that they had since applied to Zimra for release of the equipment.
“What I can say is that we are expecting the items to be cleared because we have already applied a free clearance,” he said.
“We are very hopeful that by today afternoon (yesterday) or tomorrow morning (toady) the equipment would have been cleared.”
Contacted for comment, Zimra spokesperson Francis Chimanda said: “Zimra does not comment on individual taxpayers as such comments divulge confidential information.”
According to a notification by the organisation, their programme aims to advance nephrology in the developing world through hands-on training programmes.