Storm over Mnangagwa’s health minister designate; qualifications questioned

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By Staff Reporter

EVEN before President Emmerson Mnangagwa swears in his much vaunted cabinet in which he rung the changes dumping perennial faces from his Zanu PF party, his pick for health minister Obadiah Moyo has had his qualifications questioned.

Moyo, the celebrated head of Chitungwiza Hospital which he transformed into a self sustaining facility in the midst of nationwide health infrastructure decay reportedly claims to have studied medicine in the “West Indies” according to State media.

“Dr Obadiah Moyo-Doctor of Medicine Degree (MD) West Indies, -Master of Philosophy Degree in Medicine (MPHIL MED) UZ, -Chief Executive Officer Chitungwiza Hospital (and) Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPATH) UK,” State media claimed.

This has however, has come under the microscope amid claims he only studied as a laboratory scientist at the University of Zimbabwe.

And on the back of his role in the liberation struggle, Moyo became close to former President Robert Mugabe and coordinated his late first wife Sally’s kidney treatment until her death in early 1992.

There are media reports that Moyo seems to have “forged” his papers with the US claimed to have a dossier on the “surgeon” revealed in confidential diplomatic cables, by whistle-blower website, WikiLeaks.

“Moyo’s overly rosy description of his hospital provided a glimpse at the political sensitivities of the health system,” the confidential cable classified by former Ambassador James McGee, says.

The cable noted that an embassy staff member who lives in Chitungwiza “painted a substantially different picture”, adding Moyo had requested that his visit to the embassy back then need to be kept under wraps including the part that he had “lied”about his qualifications.

“Moyo’s business card indicates he has both a PhD and a medical degree. After our initial meeting, we learned that he earned neither.

“Rather, he was Sally Mugabe’s dialysis technician at Parirenyatwa throughout her long struggle with a kidney disease. After Sally’s death, Mr. Moyo suddenly became Dr. Moyo, and in 2004 he became CEO of Chitungwiza Hospital,” the cable reveals.

Moyo has won several accolades for his work Chitungwiza Hospital seen as a model of what Zimbabwe’s health sector should be going forward.

The minister-designate also runs a pathology laboratory in Harare for which has has had alterations with the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council from which he has been pushing for registration of his institution.