By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
28 May 2014
The MDC-T’s acting treasurer-general, Theresa Makone, has labelled state media reports that claimed Morgan Tsvangirai fled a hospital without paying his bill as inaccurate and malicious.
The MDC-T leader was admitted to hospital on Monday after he became unwell. Party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora disclosed on Thursday that the former trade unionist was suffering from flu and fever.
Both the print and electronic state media reported on Thursday that Morgan Tsvangirai sneaked out of the Trauma centre in Avondale without settling his bill. It’s been alleged that the institution made a report to the Avondale police station, a move that has infuriated the MDC-T.
However Makone, who personally paid the bill three hours after Tsvangirai was discharged, said she phoned the Trauma centre after she was informed of their leader’s imminent release from hospital.
‘In fact, he was supposed to be released on Thursday, but doctors decided he was fine to go home on Wednesday. I was informed of the developments and as normal procedure, being the acting treasurer, I phoned the hospital and told them I was coming to settle his bill.
‘I don’t live in Harare, I’m based in Domboshawa, so after I made an arrangement with the hospital, I had to prepare myself, first by bathing and having breakfast before I made my way to the Trauma centre and settled the bill,’ Makone said.
The former co-Home Affairs Minister in the inclusive government questioned the hospital’s professionalism in handling the case, accusing the administration of unethical practice.
‘So where is the patient- hospital confidentiality? I would have expected a professional organisation to follow him home if they thought he had fled the hospital. They have all his personal details, including where he lives and how to contact him,’ explained Makone.
The acting treasurer said the opposition leader was actually escorted from his ward right down to his waiting vehicle by senior staff at the Trauma centre.
Makone claimed they have been informed that a staffer at the centre, a matron who works in a different ward from where Tsvangirai was admitted, took matters into his own hands and reported the issue to the police. Now the party wants that staffer investigated for acting outside hospital-patient confidentiality guidelines.
‘If they say he fled or run away, why was he escorted from his wing to his car? He was actually accompanied to his vehicle by the head of security at the centre, the matron of the wing he was staying in, as well as the floor sister in charge who cleared him. They actually took him through the back door, how else could he have known there was a separate route that leads to the car park? Asked Makone.
She said the whole story was aimed at causing maximum embarrassment to Tsvangirai, but expressed satisfaction that it has also exposed the system for what it is.
‘Instead of us feeling embarrassed, it has exposed how ZANU PF and its machinery view Tsvangirai as a major threat. This is the same person Robert Mugabe and his party claimed was dead and buried after the elections. But their fixation with him tells us they are having sleepless nights because he remains their only serious threat to their corrupt and dictatorial rule,’ Makone added.
A statement from the information department of the party said unlike other political leaders who fly out to up-market hospitals outside the country for medical treatment, at the taxpayer’s expense, their leader exhibited faith in local medical expertise and health facilities.
‘Our doctors and other civil servants are working under very difficult circumstances but President Tsvangirai has retained his faith in their ability to discharge of their duties,’ said the statement signed by Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesman.