Five senior police officers have been arrested on allegations of conniving with a private laboratory to take blood samples from civilians at the expense of the force’s hospital in Chikurubi and converting the money to their own use. The five are Support Unit Camp Hospital officer-in charge Chief Inspector Joshua Gambiza (44), Inspector Mercy Mberi (44), Inspector Alice Sibanda (42), Assistant Inspectors Shamiso Ziki (29) and Sydney Betera (34). They were arrested after it was discovered that they were taking the blood samples to the private laboratories instead of Parirenyatwa Hospital or PSMAS for laboratory tests as per the hospital’s requirements. The five appeared in court before magistrate Mr Milton Serima charged with criminal abuse of office. They were remanded to October 31 on US$100 each.
As part of their bail conditions, they were ordered to surrender their passports and to report to CID Fraud squad once a week, among other conditions.
The prosecutor, Miss Sharon Mashavira, alleged that during the period extending from February to September this year, the five accused persons acting in connivance, entered into a private arrangement with private laboratories, where they would receive private clients referred from the said laboratories for blood samples. The five, the court heard, would offer the services at the expense of the police and would not remit the payments to the force’s hospital.
It is the State’s case that they would then refer them back to the laboratories and in turn they were paid for their services, but they neither receipted the payments, nor disclosed the nature of transaction to the police general headquarters. Their actions were contrary to the hospital requirements that all blood samples be sent to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals or PSMAS for laboratory tests.
According to the State, the offence was discovered after a messenger from Greigestone laboratories, Vengai Janyamahwe, had gone to Support Unit camp hospital to deliver blood samples results and US$110 cash for the accused persons. Investigations revealed that the five had received US$505 from the laboratories as payment.