By Mary Taruvinga
TELEVISION personality Tinashe Mugabe has dragged the Health Professions Authority Zimbabwe, and the Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientists Council Zimbabwe (MCAZ) to court over the ban of his famous, but a short-lived TV show, The Closure DNA.
Mugabe stole the attention of social media users during the recent past months before Global DNA, the TV show was closed for operating unlawfully.
MCAZ issued a statement in September saying Mugabe was not qualified nor competent to issue DNA test results.
However, in his court challenge, the presenter said the respondents had no right to suspend his operations because Global DNA his company is not a medical entity and is not governed by their rules and regulations.
He has filed a High Court application through Global Parentage Services (Private) Limited t/a Global DNA Zimbabwe.
In his application, Mugabe is seeking a declaratory order that he is entitled to operate freely.
According to his application, when he started his operations in DNA testing, he was approached by the Health Professions Authority, which advised him to register with them.
As part of the conditions, Global DNA was informed to employ a laboratory scientist and was also registered under MCAZ as a collection site.
He said Global DNA was only a collection site and samples are sent out of Zimbabwe for testing before results are delivered to clients.
Mugabe said the company does not“diagnose, treat, mitigate or prevent illness, injury or disability, abnormal, physical or mental state or the symptoms in human beings as defined by the Health Professions Act.”
He added Global DNA does not fall within the definition of a health institution as defined by the Act.
Mugabe said employing a laboratory scientist does not mean Global DNA was now a medical facility.
In this regard, he is seeking a declaratory that the Health Professions Authority cannot at law order the closure of his offices because Global DNA is not a health institution.
Mugabe said registration of his company as a health institution was a nullity.
“The business that applicant carries out does not make it eligible for registration as a health institution. The registration was as such unnecessary and therefore void. The respondents did not act lawfully in that they exercised powers against applicants which they did not have. Its action is therefore void,” he said in his founding affidavit.
Mugabe said assuming that his company is eligible for registration as a health institution and should indeed be registered as a health institution, the decision by the association to immediately suspend his certificates of registration and closure of Global DNA offices was substantively and procedurally unfair.
He said the suspension is punitive in nature and must have been done after hearing his submissions.
A full hearing is pending.