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Mugabe goes to court over TV paternity show

by Staff reporter
17 Nov 2021 at 07:46hrs | Views
A TV host whose DNA paternity show was shut down by the Health Professions Authority Zimbabwe (HPAZ) has gone to the High Court to challenge the decision.

Tinashe Mugabe's hit show, The Closure DNA, saw fathers unsure about the paternity of their children going on the show to get a public reveal of the DNA test results.

The HPAZ shut down the show in September after declaring that Mugabe and his company Global Parentage Services, trading as Global DNA Zimbabwe, had violated conditions it had set, including a requirement that the company should employ a professional laboratory scientist at all times.

The regulatory authority said Mugabe was neither qualified nor competent to issue DNA test results.

Mugabe is now suing the HPAZ and the Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientists Council Zimbabwe (MCAZ) challenging the suspension of his operations and closure of his offices.

The TV host – once featured on Australian TV accused of issuing falsified DNA test results – wants the actions of the HPAZ and MCAZ declared null and void.

Mugabe is denying that his company is a medical one requiring regulation by HPAZ, insisting that he only registered with them for compliance in order to operate freely.

Mugabe said after he started his operations in the business of DNA testing he was approached by HPAZ which advised him to register with them.

As part of the conditions, Global DNA was informed to employ a laboratory scientist and was also registered under MCAZ as a collection site.

He said he complied with the directives of registration until his scientist resigned from her job.

Mugabe said their centre is only a collection site and samples are sent out of Zimbabwe for testing before results are returned to Zimbabwe.

He insists that his company does not in any way "diagnose, treat, mitigate or prevent illness, injury or disability, abnormal, physical or mental state or the symptoms in human beings as defined by the Health Professions Act."

He said his business does not in any way fall within the definition of a health institution as defined by the Act.

Mugabe said employing a laboratory scientist does not mean Global DNA was now a medical facility and maintains it is not necessary or mandated.

In this regard, he is seeking a declaratory that the HPAZ cannot at law order the closure of his offices because Global DNA is not a health institution.

"The business that applicant carries out dies not make it eligible for registration as a health institution. The registration was as such unnecessary and therefore void. The respondents did not act lawfully in terms of S 3 (1) (a) of the Administrative Justice Act (Chapter 10;28) in that they exercised powers against Global DNA which they did not have. Its action is therefore void," Mugabe's lawyers are arguing.

Mugabe said assuming that his company is eligible for registration as a health institution and should indeed be registered as a health institution, the decision by the authority in immediately suspending his certificates of registration and ordering the closure of his offices is substantively and procedurally unfair.

He said the suspension was punitive in nature and must have been done after hearing his submissions.

"Global DNA Zimbabwe had a legitimate expectation of being heard before an adverse decision was made against it. It thus has an interest in the matter before this honorable court in that its business has been suspended unlawfully, with great loss to its income and the benefit it has brought to users of its services," Mugabe's lawyers Maunga Maanda and Associates contend.

The matter is pending.

Source - zimlive
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