HARARE – Cleric Phillip Mugadza is refusing to settle a $15 medical bill incurred when he was treated at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals (Parirenyatwa), demanding that President Robert Mugabe must foot the expense.
The man of cloth — who made headlines after prophesying that 93-year-old Mugabe will die on October 17 this year — was treated at the public hospital after alleged torture while in police custody.
In an April 3, 2017 letter addressed to Parirenyatwa’s administrator, Mugadza said he was economically incapacitated and could not pay the bill “either in United States dollars or bond notes”.
“I hereby acknowledge receipt of your text message on my mobile phone on March 29, with reference number PGH680239. It was informing me of what I owe you for the treatment I got from your hospital on November 22, last year,” read the letter.
“Regrettably, I am so much unable to raise that $15. Secondly, I was not treated for a natural affliction. It was inflicted on me by the President’s Office; therefore it goes without saying that the president will have to pay for it,” Mugadza said.
“ . . . don’t hesitate to inform him that is what I said because he is so much aware of it, and besides, he is able to offset that little amount,” he said.
In his initial court appearance on the criminal nuisance charge, Mugadza, through his lawyer Gift Mtisi, complained that he had been assaulted by police officers in plain clothes at Parliament Building.
“When this particular incident occurred, I had to ask the police who attended to me after arrest to take me to a hospital because I was not feeling well after the assault,” Mugadza told Daily News.
“I was treated and discharged and my understanding was that the State was responsible for the cost incurred. I was never advised of any medical bills and if I had gone there on personal health check-ups I could have arranged payment,” he said, adding that, “I am a struggling citizen as a result of the mismanagement of this country”.
The State alleged that at around 4pm on November 22, police officers from the reaction unit were on patrol at African Unity Square.
They reportedly heard the accused person shouting on top of his voice disturbing people who passed by the park.
The officers proceeded to where Mugadza was standing and noticed that he had chained and padlocked himself to fencing rails at the Square.
It is further alleged that Mugadza had positioned himself directly opposite the Parliament building entrance along Nelson Mandela Avenue.
The court heard that he annoyed Parliament employees and other members of the public.
He was subsequently arrested and taken to Harare Central Police Station after being advised of his charge.
The State intends to produce the chain and padlock used by Mugadza as exhibits.