By Costa Nkomo
PRISON officers Friday morning forcibly removed Harare West MP Joanna Mamombe out of a private Harare hospital where she was admitted at receiving medical attention.
She was admitted at the facility Wednesday evening suffering from acute stomach aches.
However, Mamombe was taken back to Chikurubi Female Prison where she has been remanded at for over 45 days after she was denied bail despite pleas with the correctional officers that she was in pain.
She and fellow MDC Alliance activist Cecilia Chimbiri are both in remand prison facing charges of violating Covid-19 regulations after they addressed journalists outside the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
MDC Alliance party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere confirmed the latest developments saying prison officials got an instruction from their superiors to remove Mamombe from hospital against the doctor’s orders.
“Prison officials have sent an ambulance to collect Joanna Mamombe from hospital even though her doctors haven’t discharged her. She is still unwell and her doctors have referred her to a specialist who is scheduled to see her tomorrow (Friday). They say they have ‘instructions from above’,” said Mahere.
A video has since gone viral on social media where Mamombe and prison officials are engaged in a heated exchange at the hospital with the lawmaker insisting she was not leaving the facility as she was in pain.
Mamombe’s mother, Kudzai Chiwanza, who was at the hospital when her daughter was forcibly removed told NewZimbabwe.com Friday that the legislator was grabbed from the hospital at 2 am this Friday without a record of discharge from the medical centre.
“It was late in the evening yesterday (Thursday), and as we were about to leave the hospital, we saw one prison official in an ambulance.
“Everyone became suspicious as to why the prison officials had sent one person to ferry an ailing prisoner. The prison officer had no record of discharge for Joanna. She was scheduled to meet a specialist today (Friday). So Joanna refused to leave hospital without following due processes,” Chiwanza said.
“The hospital staff also refused to release Joanna because she was still being monitored. At around 2 am we then heard that there was a letter signed with details of the prison officials taking her to Chikurubi Prison. We then accompanied her to Chikurubi where she was locked back in a cell.”
MDC Alliance deputy President Tendai Biti said it was sickening for prison officers to bundle a patient out of hospital.
“Reports that the regime has dispatched an ambulance to grab an ill Joanna Mamombe back to Chikurubi Prison are particularly sickening. This regime is completely pathological. Joanna, Netsai (Marowa) and Cecilia have suffered enough,” Biti said.