Magombeyi mystery depends, seeks mental health services outside Zim

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By Mary Taruvinga

ZIMBABWE Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) acting president Peter Magombeyi requires urgent mental health services in South Africa as his abduction mystery depends.

High Court Judge Happious Zhou has allowed the doctor to travel to the neighbouring country and barred the police from preventing him.

The police had literally taken over his life after they camped at a local hospital where he is being treated.

“It is ordered that the respondents or anyone acting through them or on their behalf is hereby interdicted from preventing directly or indirectly, Peter Magombeyi from leaving Zimbabwe for the purposes of accessing services in South Africa. There is no order as to costs,” said Zhou.

According to his doctors, Magombeyi may never practise as a medical practitioner if he did not get the required attention.

Magombeyi was last week allegedly abducted by suspected state security agents before he was found dumped in Nyabira five days after he went missing.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who are representing Magombeyi, Tuesday approached the High Court with an urgent chamber application seeking his immediate evacuation from his Avenues Hospital bed.

“We write to advise that the team of medical experts attending to Dr Peter Magombeyi has recommended that he receives further medical services which are not locally available. To this end, the family has planned for his immediate evacuation to a medical facility outside the country,” said the lawyers in a letter addressed to the Officer-in-Charge CID Law and Order.

In the court application, Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema were also cited as respondents.

In a letter to doctors at Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital in South Africa, Magombeyi’s local doctors said the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association leader needs mental health assessment.

“We write to refer Magombeyi who has significant neurocognitive and psychological dysfunction who urgently needs further functional brain imaging and further toxicological evaluation which is not available in Zimbabwe,” the doctors said.

In his founding affidavit, Magombeyi’s father, Kingstone, said he is troubled because the police have literally taken control of his son’s life.

He said it was worrying that his son’s rights are being trampled on.

“I am acting in my own interests and in the interests of my son, Peter Gabriel Magombeyi who at present is unable to act on his own account of his current medical state,” he said.

Kingstone went on to narrate that after he received information regarding his son’s whereabouts, he rushed to the scene. He found his son already taken by the police.

He said the police went on to deny the family and lawyers access to Magombeyi for a prolonged period.

The father said after his son was brought to them, they went to hospital where doctors advised that he was to be admitted before pathological samples were sent to South Africa.

He also told court that he had arranged private security for his son but the police went on to bring their own team which is now camped at the hospital.

“While also admitted at the hospital, the police also brought their own team of doctors to examine and extract pathological samples from him.

“I, or my son were not consulted or advised as to why such tests and samples were being taken.

“I’m advised that this process was in violation of my son’s constitutional rights. They did not prescribe any treatment for him. They just collected his samples and handed them to the police and went away.

“On 21 September, I was shocked and dismayed that a number of police officers had surrounded and camped outside my son’s hospital room. they were and are still camped 24 hours a day. They screen visitors and prevent him from leaving the room without authority.

“This is despite that he has not requested for police presence. My son has not been charged with any criminal offence over and above the security provided by hospital he has 24-hour private security guard,” said Magombeyi’s father.

He said doctors have advised that his son’s condition needs urgent attention or will get worse.

Kingstone said he has already secured air tickets to fly his son to South Africa.

He said one Elizabeth Magombeyi, whose relationship has not been explained, will accompany his son.

“My son is entitled to freedom of movement and entitled to access health services. He is also entitled to his personal security which includes his psychological integrity.”

He said it was clear the police do not want his son to leave the country as they have already barred him without any lawful basis.