State prosecutors on Monday pressed one more charge of theft for the Lilongwe bogus doctor, Rasford Gogoda, following recovery of Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) doctor’s stolen laptop and medical equipment in the suspect’s bag.
Gogoda, 26, was arrested on February 3 at KCH after someone who knew him well blew the cover when he spotted the fake doctor dressed in a white dust coat and stethoscope round his neck attending to a female patient
He was charged with impersonating a public officer to which he pleaded guilty; but on Monday when Gogoda appeared before the Lilongwe Magistrate Court, the state told the court there was a new charge of theft against Gogoda following recovery of stolen items in his bag.
“Most of the items contained in the bag namely; laptop, stethoscope, drugs and other medical equipment were later discovered to have been stolen from one of the doctors at Kamuzu Central Hospital, Doctor William Namiyango, who reported the matter to Area 33 Police Unit on January 6, 2015,” explained Spt. Damian Phillip Kaputa, Lilongwe Station Prosecution Officer.
He paraded before court six witnesses whose separate accounts implicated Gogoda and indicated that he was seen with the bag in different departments of the health facility both on January 6 and February 3.
One of the witnesses, Effi Sambo, who said was at the hospital with sick daughter on January 6 claimed to have seen Gogoda walk into one of the offices with a lean bag and that he later came out with a fuller bag.
“I saw him as I sat there waiting for the doctor to attend to my daughter,” Sambo told the court. “He did not stay long but when he came out I noticed that the bag was fuller than it was when he went in.”
Recounting the events of February 3 which led to the arrest of Gogoda at the referral health facility, a receptionist at STIs department, Elllen Kapinga, told the court that she had found an abandoned bag in her office and that as time passed, she reported to the department’s Nurse-In-Charge, Hellen Milonde.
The two opened the bag in the hope of finding anything that could lead to the owner and that’s when they found medical kits, drugs, and other equipment, including a driving license bearing the suspect’s name.
The receptionist told the court that Gogoda came to claim the bag later, clad in a white dust coat, stethoscope round his neck and that he identifying himself as a Doctor at Ethel Mutharika Maternity Wing.
“He said he had left the bag at the reception when he got an emergency call to go and attend to a patient,” explained the receptionist.
The court learnt that just after leaving the reception with the bag, Gogoda was later spotted at the Light House within the campus by one, Kennedy Thom, a warder at Maula Prison who had gone there with some inmates.
In his testimony, Thom said he had once worked with Gogoda at Bwaila Hospital as HIV Testing and Counseling councilors under the UNC Project and seeing him in full doctor outfit made Thom become suspicious.
“I followed him into a female ward where I found him attending to a female patient,” explained Thom. “I alerted the police nearby and when Mr. Gogoda saw us approaching he started running, throwing away the bag in the process.”
The bogus doctor was apprehended with the help of the hospital’s guards and guardians, according to Thom, and Sgt. Dickson Mjojo, Officer In-Charge for Area 33 police unit who also testified.
Gogoda, who hails from Simon Village, T/A Simon in Neno, is expected to appear before court again on February 19 for ruling and amendment, according to Prosecutor, Kaputa.
Two men in Blantyre were recently convicted by the court for similar offences at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and they each drew a six-year jail term.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :