By UK Correspondent
BIRMINGHAM: A doctor at the centre of a 2016 farm seizure row in Zimbabwe is appearing before the UK Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) over allegations of mistreating patients.
The tribunal, underway in Manchester, is determining Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro’s fitness to practice. Allegations against him include inappropriately prescribing drugs and allowing examinations to be done by staff who were not adequately trained.
The charges relate to nine patients and cover the period between April and May 2016 when Nyatsuro was running a successful medical practice, Willows Medical Centre, in Nottingham.
That was also the same year Dr Nyatsoro, a British citizen, made international headlines after reportedly using connections with Grace Mugabe to grab a thriving tobacco farm in Centenary, using the police to force the white owners off the property.
Phillip Rankin, who was 57 at the time and had lived on Kingston Farm for some 33 years, condemned the decision to give “his land to a wealthy British doctor who does not live here”.
“It was our business – but more important than that, it was our home. We have never owned anything other than the farm and that’s gone in one weekend.
“It doesn’t make sense to me, how a doctor who lives in the UK can come and take our land.”
Son Barry, added: “We have been turfed off of our land and there is nothing we can do about it. We are devastated.”
Nyatsuro’s Nottingham practice would also be closed after inspectors discovered an unqualified assistant was allowed to pose as a doctor and carry out examinations.
The doctor formally resigned from NHS England after which his Willows Medical Centre was placed into receivership and auctioned off.
Petitions were also organised calling on the British government to revoke his citizenship.
He would later relocate to Zimbabwe where he was, in 2020, appointed board chairperson of the government-run Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) by then health and child care minister Obediah Moyo.
Not so long ago, a Zim doctor, Sylvester Nyatsuro was hounded out of the UK for benefitting from Land Reform. He chose to return home.The New Dispensation continues to show its positive attitude towards Diaspora returnees by appointing him ZNFPC Chairman. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/gv8gppMFcY
— Nick Mangwana (@nickmangwana) June 12, 2020
However, a Medical practitioners tribunal underway suggests Nyatsuro is now seeking to resume practice in the UK.
The tribunal hearing started on Monday (June 27), and is expected to last until July 12.
Nyatsuro faces nine allegations and is said to have admitted to some allegations, while others will be determined by the tribunal.
The hearing will determine whether the allegations mean the doctor’s fitness to practice “is impaired by reason of misconduct”.
Nyatsuro denied any links to the Mugabes at the time of the farm seizure although images later emerged of the doctor and his wife visiting Grace’s Mazoe orphanage with the then Zimbabwean First Lady.
Said his lawyers, Danziger and Partners explained: “The government’s position is that the farm was acquired over a decade ago. Any Zimbabwean has a right to benefit from the land reform programme.
“The issue here is not between our client and Mr Rankin because he is only a third party who applied generally for land years back.
“He was on the waiting list for a long time and was offered this state land on the strength of his application.”
Rankin considered re-locating to the UK ,but said “I don’t think I could live there. I don’t know it. I am a stranger there. This country is the only one I know.”
A change of government in Harare through the 2017 coup which toppled long-time ruler Robert Mugabe and his powerful wife gave the Rankins some hope of reclaiming their farm.
“They are the legal title holders. They have legal documents to prove ownership from the current government. They are waiting for procedures to be implemented since Dec 2018,” reads a message on a GoFundMe.com campaign to raise funds for Rankin after he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer.
“At this stage they (family) have used up their savings and support from generous friends,” said a family representative.
“Our Zimbabwe oncologist has referred Phil to get targeted radiation treatment in South Africa or India … they are on the local medical aid scheme but because of the situation in the country it is exhausted.
“Phil has had 10 Radiation treatments already in Zimbabwe, however these have not been targeted radiation. There is no such machine supplied in Zimbabwe.
“Along with this Phil has had 2 chemotherapy intravenous treatments which thus far have slightly shrunk the tumor in his left lung.
“He now has started a targeted chemo therapy which the medication required cannot even be obtained in Zimbabwe and if found elsewhere needs to bought in at an astronomical cost.
“They are told the cost will be $20,000USD at least. They ask you consider joining with them in prayer and financially. Any amount given will be deeply appreciated. They continue to pray and find strength.”