Mozambique: Five Officials Arrested Over Theft of Hospital Equipment

Maputo – Prosecutors in the central Mozambican province of Sofala have ordered the arrest of five health officials, in connection with the theft of medical equipment donated in February 2015 by the Rotary Club of Australia to Beira Central Hospital, according to a Monday report on the independent television station STV.

Those detained include officials from the Beira hospital and from the Sofala Provincial Health Directorate.

Some of the stolen equipment was found at the “Sorridente” private clinic in Beira. The Sofala Provincial Attorney’s office also ordered the seizure of the surgical beds and other material found at this clinic. The search will be extended to other Beira private clinics where it is believed that the equipment donated by the Rotary Club was diverted.

The “Sorridente” clinic, however, claims that the material belongs to it, and is not the same as the material stolen from the hospital.

Provincial government spokesperson Helcio Canda insisted that the goods donated by the Rotary Club were intended for the hospital and not for any private clinic.

He pointed out that the government had agreed to the Beira Rotary Club’s request that the donated equipment be exempted from all import duties. The exemption was granted precisely because the goods were going to a public hospital, to benefit ordinary users of the national health service.

The government would never grant such a tax exemption for material being imported for a profit making enterprise such as a private clinic, he added.

Source: All Africa