By Thelma Chikwanha
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe yesterday visited Trauma Centre, the country’s top-notch medical institution in Harare’s Belgravia area, but it was not clear at the time of going to press what his business was at the elite hospital.
Mugabe arrived at the hospital before lunch and spent nearly three hours at the institution.
His spokesperson George Charamba could not comment as he was tied up in meetings, and efforts to get him to give remarks later on the president’s visit to the 24-hour private medical facility were futile.
Information minister Jonathan Moyo was not taking calls from the Daily News.
The Trauma Centre is the same medical facility where opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai in May sought medical attention for an undisclosed illness.
When our news crew visited Trauma Centre yesterday afternoon, there was a heavy presence of security details and the president’s motorcade.
However, to his credit, the 90-year-old Mugabe did not bar other patients from going about their business.
Business went on as usual but the heavy presence of security details and armed soldiers could not be ignored.
Although strict security arrangements were made, officials said the hospital functioned normally and only the area being visited by Mugabe was cordoned off during the visit.
Relatives of patients in the hospital continued seeing their sick. Services at the trauma unit remained unaffected
While Trauma Centre leader Vivek Solanki was not taking calls from the Daily News yesterday, Prince Shumba, the personal assistant to the medical director, said the president did not visit the medical facility for treatment.
Initially, Shumba refused to speak to the Daily News but later phoned back with a terse response saying:
“The president is not sick,” Shumba told the Daily News. “He was not coming to be treated, he was visiting someone.” It was not immediately clear who Mugabe was visiting.
Trauma Centre offers 24-hour emergency executive medical check-up, cardiovascular checks, high care intensive care, invasive and non-invasive surgery, keyhole surgery, hearing tests among other services.
The hospital says it provides state-of-the-art equipment with a select group of specialists in various fields.
“High standard of care and facilities are provided to ensure patient comfort under competent care,” the hospital brochure says.
“This centre for excellence also provides medical admissions for the foreign services, NGOs, and clients from neighbouring countries and tourists.”
Over the past few months, the Zanu PF strongman has been visiting Singapore for what his spin-doctors say is “routine medical check-ups”
In May, British Channel 4 released video footage of Mugabe entering Gleaneagles Hospital in Singapore.
Mugabe has since admitted to being plagued by cataracts. Daily News