Diplomatic tiff looms over humiliated Indian doctors

THE three Indian medical investors, who were recently humiliated and arrested on allegations of practising in Zimbabwe without licences, have now threatened to take the matter up with their government.


With authorities insisting the medical practitioners had tried to operate illegally, the Indians have argued their humiliating experience should never happen to others.

In an interview with NewsDay after landing in India, one of the specialist doctors, Areeba Adeeb said he was still in shock and did not believe the registrar of the Medical Council of Zimbabwe, Josephine Mwakutuya, could have treated would-be investors like common criminals.

Adeeb claimed they had been invited by the Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Rungsung Masakui, in conjunction with the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda.

“We (Adeeb, Manoj Kumar Miglan and Ramji Mehrotra) were not in the wrong and we will now be escalating this matter to the MEA here so that Indian doctors are not mistreated like this at the hands of Zimbabwean authorities again,” Adeeb said.

“We were made to feel like criminals and even had black paint put on our hands for fingerprints (at Borrowdale Police Station). Our passports were also seized. All in all it was the most humiliating experience any doctor can go through especially when his/her intention was betterment of healthcare and nothing else. There was no commercial gain in us coming to Zimbabwe.”

Adeeb added: “Contrary to Mrs Mwakutuya’s claims even if we were consulting patients it would not have been against the law of the land as we had been invited by the local doctors as per the Section 129 clause.

“Whatever the case, such senior doctors need to be respected and we were foreign visitors who came to Zimbabwe with the intention of helping local setups for delivering healthcare for which patients are right now flying to India for treatment. The harassment that happened cannot be justified by whatever reasons Mrs Mwakutuya is giving right now.” Mwakutuya also denied humiliating the doctors, instead accusing the Indians of “resisting a lawful police order”.

But, Adeeb dismissed Mwakutuya’s assertions arguing “there was more to her actions than meets the eye.”

“We were shoved into a car without even getting the chance to make a phone call or make them understand that there was miscommunication and that we were well aware of Medical Licensing rules. But it looked like they were only interested to get us into a police station,” he said adding even the intervention of Ambassador Masakui did not help matters.

“We feel strongly that the intention was just to humiliate us and disrespect us further as even after all the verifications were done, we were not released from the police station,” Adeeb said.

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