Fake lab tests backfires for doctor


Harare doctor Michael Mandaza yesterday appeared in court facing allegations of defrauding more than 200 patients after issuing them with fake laboratory tests results at his Mabvuku Euro-Pacific 24hr Private Hospital.

Dr Mandaza was remanded in custody to today when he will make his initial bail application before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi.

According to investigations, the 43-year-old medical practitioner, who is a co-director at the hospital has been allegedly committing the offences since 2017.

Prosecuting, the State had it that on June 14, officers from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) received a tip off that Dr Mandaza was involved in suspicious activities involving issuance of fake laboratory tests to patients.

Acting upon the tipoff and on 12 July, a raid was done at Dr Mandaza’s Euro-Pacific 24hr private hospital at Mabvuku Shopping center and his place of residence in Zimre Park.

The officers were able to seize amongst other things patient files, sampling diagnostics laboratory date stamp, laptops and desktops believed to be used in the commission of the alleged offence.

Further allegations point that most of the patients consulted Dr Mandaza to have samples of their blood, sputum and other various tests before treatment was administered on them.

According to the State papers, patients were paying between US$40 to US$80 per test.

The State alleges that Dr Mandaza would then not submit the samples for laboratory testing, instead he would manufacture fictitious computer generated results as if they were actual lab tests.

Police say Dr Mandaza would later authenticate the purported lab results by stamping them with a Sampling Diagnostic Laboratory date stamp.

However, further investigations proved that the Sampling Diagnostic Laboratory does not exist either as a member of the Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientists of Zimbabwe or the Health Professions Authority of Zimbabwe.

Again an address provided for the alleged lab at number 13 Robson Manyika shown that no such company existed.

One of the complainants Ivy Chaitezvi was allegedly misrepresented to that for her to receive treatment towards her renal failure, tests had to be conducted before she was made to pay US$85.

Another patient and second complainant, Simbisai Chisue also had her blood samples taken for a perceived liver problem.

Investigations show that, instead of taking both samples to the lab, Dr Mandaza fraudulently designed tests results using the fake date stamp.

In addition, the State also alleges that officers had to break a cabinet locker after Dr Mandaza refused to allow the search and more patient documents were apprehended.

On some of the documents in police custody it is shown that Dr Jasper Chimedza was the referring doctor, samples prepared by Martin Jones and reviewed by Michael Chigwada (a holder of PhD from USA).

Further investigations have shown that neither of the above is registered as scientist by any local council.hmetro

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