Baby death doctor seeks out of court settlement

By Auxilia Katongomara

A Bulawayo doctor found guilty of negligently causing the death of a new-born baby last year is seeking an out of court settlement with the family of the deceased baby.

Marondera polyclinic at Mzilikazi shopping centre along Luveve road…

Dr Arnold Nyamande of Marondera Polyclinic in Mzilikazi is offering the family $2 000 as compensation for costs incurred as a result of his fatal negligence.

The late baby’s father, Mr Champion Kudiwa of Thorngrove suburb, is suing for   $8 000 being costs suffered in medical expenses including traditional cleansing ceremonies as required by his culture and traditions.

In a letter dated 14 March 2018, Dr Nyamande through his lawyers Calderwood, Bryce Hendrie and Partners, sought an out of court settlement with Mr Kudiwa.

“It occurs to us that this is a matter in which the parties can reach an amicable settlement without incurring further unnecessary costs. In that connection, our client proposes to pay the sum of US$2 000 over a period of two months on a strictly without prejudice basis in full and settlement of your suit.

“Should the foregoing be acceptable to you, may you kindly furnish us with the account into which payment can be made,” read the letter.

It is alleged Dr Nyamande caused the death of the new-born baby after it suffered complications at birth at his clinic and was later rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital in an unregistered pirate taxi as his surgery did not have enough oxygen.

Hospital records show that the baby was admitted to the neo-natal intensive unit at Mpilo Central Hospital due to severe asphyxia and later died.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Kudiwa said he can only accept the offer if it is increased to at least $5 000.

“The costs incurred were too much so $2 000 is on the lowside. He should at least offer $5 000 because we are in debt since the death of the baby,” he said.

In January, a Bulawayo magistrate ordered Dr Nyamande to pay $8 000 compensation in a default judgement which has since been rescinded.

Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya set aside the default judgment arguing that the doctor had a bona fide defence and was not in wilful default when the judgment was made.

The Medical and Dental Practioners Council of Zimbabwe suspended Dr Nyamande for 12 months and also ordered him to undergo retraining at a local central hospital after it found him guilty of negligence.

He is undergoing training in the departments of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The Chronicle