Malawi jailed clinician who raped unconscious patient bailed on medical grounds

 The High Court in Mzuzu has granted bail pending appeal to convicted Mzuzu Central Hospital former Clinical Officer, who was serving an eight year imprisonment with hard labour for raping of an imbecile while on duty in January this year.

Hope Chipwatali, who had served almost four months of his sentence, was released on medical grounds.

Hospital sources confirmed to Nyasa Times that Chipwatali got admitted to Mzuzu Central Hospital barely a month after the commencement of  his jail term in March following a TB attack.

Mzuzu Police Station Spokesperson Sergeant Maurice Chapola confirmed the discharge saying Chipwatali is reporting every week to police in Lilongwe where he is currently staying.

Chapola confirmed abusive clinician is 'bailed'
Chapola confirmed abusive clinician is ‘bailed’

“I personally saw him on the streets,” Chapola said.

On the 20thJanuary, 2013 at the Mzuzu Hospital Chapwatali raped a mental female patient (name withheld) without her consent after sedating her.

Repeat offendor

This is not the first time for Chipwatali to be involved in abusing patients. In 2005,  while working as a clinician at Blantyre’s main Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, was caught with his private parts exposed, while attending to a female patient whom he had anaesthetised.

Another female patient also complained that she was raped by a medical worker while she was under anaesthesia.  During a parade of suspects, the patient identified Chipwatali as the offender and some nurses corroborated her story.

The case was referred to the Medical Council of Malawi but he was acquitted on technical grounds.

Chipwatali was, however, severely reprimanded with recommendations that he be moved to another department of the same hospital.

Chipwatali 36, hails from Chimbia Village, Traditional Authority Kaphuka in Dedza District.

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