Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Cuban doctors in theft case

Cuban doctors in theft case


CHINHOYI — Two female Cuban medical doctors working at Chinhoyi
provincial hospital were arrested last week for allegedly stealing from
a local supermarket.

Chinhoyi police records identify the doctors as Dayenerius Luaces (40)
and Maria Issabel Ramirez (38).

The pair are alleged have gone into TM Supermarket last week at around
3PM and taken body lotion and bathing soap valued at $11.6m and $13.9m

They stuffed the goods into their handbags, according to police records.
But a TM security officer in plain clothes, Tenboy Nakoma, reportedly
saw them and waited until they walked out of the shop without paying.

He then approached the pair in the company of managers and a uniformed
security guard. They were searched and the stolen goods recovered, the
report notes.

The two were handed over to police at Chinhoyi central station where the
case was recorded.

The two are yet to be brought to court.

"The police want to consult their superiors," said an officer aware of
the case, "on whether or not they can proceed to prosecute the pair for
theft (shoplifting) as defined under Section 113 of the Criminal Law
(Codification & Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23."

He said the police wanted to establish if the doctors, seconded to
Chinhoyi under an agreement between the governments of Zimbabwe and
Cuba, did not enjoy diplomatic immunity.

The Cuban government has come to Zimbabwe's rescue as the health sector
has in recent years been plagued by a massive brain drain of doctors,
nurses and other medical specialists, fleeing low pay and appalling
working conditions.

Most have found economic refuge in South Africa, Botswana, the United
Kingdom and the United States. A number have found jobs in
non-English-speaking countries in Europe.

This is not the first time allegations of misconduct have been levelled
against Cuban doctors at the hospital. Recently they were named in a
racket involving the loss of hospital computers.

A Congolese expatriate doctor was named in a syndicate involving the
theft of drugs at the hospital.

Hospital administrators were not immediately available for comment.

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