A ZIMBABWEAN businessman whose medical institution recently hit the headlines after being implicated in exposing the admission of MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai at the facility on Tuesday defied a Supreme Court order for his eviction after he lost a battle for the ownership of the state-of-the-art hospital.
In a judgment handed down Tuesday, by Supreme Court judge Justice Mary-Anne Gowora and unanimously agreed to by Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba and Justice Paddington Garwe, the Supreme Court judges declared Streamsleigh Investments owned by Peter Annesley the rightful proprietor of Trauma Centre, an upmarket medical facility in Harare’s Belgravia suburb.
The Supreme Court also overturned a judgment issued by the Magistrates Court in 2011 giving Dr Vivek Solanki’s Autoband Investments entitlement to Trauma Centre.
The granting of the appeal on Tuesday came after Streamsleigh Investments appealed to the Supreme Court in 2012 against a judgment of the High Court dismissing an application for a declaration of rights in respect of Trauma Centre and for an interdict against eviction of Streamsleigh Investments.
However, the attempt to evict Solanki was full of drama as he defied the Supreme Court order and blocked the Sheriff from effecting a writ of ejectment ordering Autoband Investments and all persons claiming occupation to be ejected from Trauma Centre.
Heavily built bodyguards were deployed at Trauma Centre, where Solanki’s lawyer Jonathan Samkange and an aide only identified as Mussa paced up and down the hospital premises trying to engage Streamsleigh Investments lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa and Harrison Nkomo, who had accompanied their clients as they attempted to repossess the medical facility.
After the resistance by Solanki and his team, the Sheriff retreated and left the premises without effecting the eviction.
Journalists among them Fazila Mohamed were not spared harassment by some unidentified people who were linked to Solanki as she was teased for being a Moslem. Solanki laid out the red carpet to journalists from the state-run media whom he entertained inside his hospital office while those from the private media among them the Daily News, NewsDay and The Zimbabwe Mail stood outside the hospital.
In resisting eviction, Solanki reportedly claimed that he needed 48 hours to move out of the premises and also argued that he intended to file an appeal against the Supreme Court judgment on Tuesday evening, a procedure which legal experts sneered at as there were no constitutional matters arising and which needed to be determined by the apex court.
Last month, Trauma Centre under the management of Solanki hit the headlines after the admission of Tsvangirai at the medical facility was extensively reported in the mainstream media with the state-run Herald newspaper going overboard mocking the opposition leader and running a headline titled “Ailing Tsvangirai flees hospital bill” alleging that he had sneaked out of the institution without paying his medical bill.
Zealous authorities at Trauma Centre were also reported by the Herald newspaper to have filed a police report against the MDC-T leader accusing him of making off without payment in contravention Section 117 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
In another article titled “Nurse in Tsvangirai hospital escape suspended”, the Herald also reported that Trauma Centre had suspended Sandra Hobwana, a senior nurse on charges of assisting the MDC-T leader to sneak out of the medical facility through the laundry room without settling his bills. Radio VOP