Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has directed that the ownership wrangle of the state-of-the art hospital, Trauma Centre, be dealt with by the full Constitutional bench as a matter of urgency.
By Charles Laiton
The hospital is at the centre of an ownership dispute pitting Streamsleigh Investment operating under Africa Medical Investment (AMI) and Autoband Investment under the directorship of the major shareholder Vivek Solanki.
In his judgement delivered on Friday afternoon, Justice Chidyausiku said having considered the papers and the submissions of legal counsel, he concluded that it would be more appropriate for the issue to be determined by the full bench of the Constitutional Court.
Turning to the eviction issue of the current operator at the hospital, Chidyausiku said the Supreme court should also deal with the issue as a matter of urgency.
“The papers as they stand clearly establish urgency. I accordingly direct that the issue be determined in the first instance by a judge of the court a quo (Supreme Court),” he said in the judgement.
“I accordingly refer the issue of whether Autoband should be evicted from the premises despite the noting of an appeal to any one of the judges in the court a quo for determination on the same papers. It is up to the judge dealing with the matter whether to grant leave for the filing of further papers.”
The Supreme Court last month ruled that AMI was the legitimate owner of Trauma Centre. But Solanki vowed to stay put at the medical institution arguing he was the rightful owner of the property he constructed and had operated since 1995.
Two weeks ago, President Robert Mugabe toured the hospital which is currently championing the introduction of medical tourism in order to boost the inflow of patients from other countries for hip and knee replacement surgery as well as heart operations.
Asked to comment on Mugabe’s recent visit, Solanki said: “The President was just making a routine tour of the medical institution in the country. The hospital is running fully and we are operating it normally.”
AMI argued in court papers that the hospital belonged to them since they had shares in it after purchasing it from Solanki. But Solanki challenged AMI to produce agreements of sale.
AMI is being represented by lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa of Mtetwa and Nyambirai. Solanki is being represented by Jonathan Samkange.