POLICE and doctors at Victoria Chitepo Hospital in Mutare have been accused of demanding bribes from mourners to facilitate post-mortems.
According to victims of the alleged scam and other sources, police officers stationed at the largest referral hospital in Manicaland province are working in cahoots with health officials to sell burial forms.
The form is signed by a doctor to confirm death, and is used to process a burial order.
“The doctor visits a police post on a daily basis where the BD12 forms are and signs them confirming or certifying death,” a source claimed.
“The corruption starts when the doctor is not around. Families of the deceased will be told by the police that the doctor is not around. Desperate families will be told to buy airtime and provide money for fuel for the doctor. Sometimes they are told to pay US$50 for the BD12 form.”
Another source said: “The money will be shared among the doctor, police and the mortuary staff.
“On the issue of post mortem, relatives will be told that the body will be taken to Harare for one week for post-mortem. They will be told to pay a certain fee for fuel to invite the doctor and make the process faster.
“Post-mortem is free in Zimbabwe, but people have found a way of taking money from desperate mourners.”
Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Nobert Muzondo promised to investigate the issue when contacted for comment.
“Thanks for the tip-off. We want to carry out our own investigations,” Muzondo said.
Victoria Chitepo Hospital spokesperson Faustina Mutasa also said they would carry out investigations.
“It is really disturbing to hear about that but this is news to me,” she said. “I will forward the matter to my authorities, but we are looking into it, but can you please help us with the names.”