By Nqobile Tshili
A mother and her newly born baby were injured after a violent man broke into Mpilo Central Hospital’s maternity ward and assaulted them while damaging the health institution’s property.
The mother and her two-day-old baby were injured as they tried to escape from Mthabisi Moyo (22) from Nketa suburb, who had broken into the maternity ward through a window.
The suspect is said to have smashed window panes to gain entry into one of the country’s biggest referral hospitals.
Some expecting mothers reportedly fled when Moyo stormed the ward but the woman who had recently given birth failed to escape.
Mpilo Central Hospital’s clinical director, Dr Solwayo Ngwenya, confirmed the development, which he said left patients traumatised.
“We are quite shocked that someone so violent could enter a hospital. We don’t know this person. We don’t know whether he is of sober habits or his mental status.
“But what happened is very unusual. Apparently, the mother tried to run away and then the person assaulted her and the new-born baby which is extremely strange. Fortunately, the mother and her infant did not sustain life threatening injuries. They just suffered discomfort, shock and pain following an incident which is totally unwarranted at the hospital,” said Dr Ngwenya.
He assured patients that Mpilo Central Hospital has enough security to protect them.
Dr Ngwenya said the incident was unexpected and will not happen again as the hospital has used it to bolster its security. He apologised to the public following the traumatic incident.
“There was a security guard manning the hospital’s entrance and this person forcibly entered the hospital through breaking in through a window. This is something that is quite unexpected and out of the blue. We want to reassure the public that their security is of uttermost importance. Unfortunately, there are some of the incidents that are out of our control and extremely unusual. It’s not normal,” said Dr Ngwenya.
Bulawayo acting police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said Moyo has been charged with assault and malicious damage of property.
“We arrested a 22-year-old man who invaded Mpilo Central Hospital attacking a new mother and her two day old baby.
“He is being charged with assault and malicious damage to property. The man is suspected to be a mental patient but it’s not for us as police to confirm. That will be left to be confirmed by two doctors as required by the law,” said Insp Ncube.
Sources at Mpilo Central Hospital said Moyo had spent the day in the casualty ward.
“Thinking back, I saw him several times at the casualty and I think he was seeking treatment. I don’t know what could have caused him to behave in this bizarre manner. Imagine a grown man assaulting an infant. Maybe he is mentally unstable,” said a source. The Chronicle