A South African hospital has engaged debt collectors to recover almost R6 000 (less than US$500) remaining from the late former Zimbabwe Prime Minister and Movement Democratic Change leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s medical bills.
Tsvangirai died at the age of 65 on 14 February 2018 at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre (WDGMC) in South Africa after battling colon cancer.
Following Tsvangirai’s death, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had succeeded the late former president Robert Mugabe through a military coup in November 2017, said the government would assume the hospital bills.
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Mnangagwa made the pledge while addressing mourners at Tsvangirai’s home, saying they will fulfil the financial and material promises made to Tsvangirai including settling his hospital bill.
However, on behalf of a South African medical doctor, Dr Liakos, Chantel Grobler of Med-e-Claims engaged officials at the Zimbabwean Consulate in Johannesburg in 2019 over an outstanding bill of R5840. 99 that is yet to be settled.
In an interview with CITE, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications), George Charamba, said the government stands ready to clear the outstanding bill of R5 840. 99, “as long as proper channels are involved.” He said:
This means some payment was made by the government isn’t, so all they need to do is raise an invoice for the government’s considerations.
We underwrote the medical bill of the late departed, we did that as the Zimbabwean government we don’t expect any intermediation in terms of routing of invoices, do we?
Charamba said settling this “little” debt was a straightforward matter that would have been dealt with procedurally.
He noted that the outstanding figure was a remnant that indicated some payments had been made previously. Said Charamba:
We have been clearing for all this time, this is just a remnant amount. Did they have to hop on to the media to get that payment done?
At whatever point were you (the media) ever part of the deal? He knows how to place an invoice to the government of Zimbabwe and must do likewise.