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Dowa medic faces deregistration

Dowa District Hospital anaesthetist Emmanuel Chiweta risks having his professional licence revoked if Medical Council of Malawi (MCM) investigators find him guilty of sexual molestation and rape.

Chiweta was arrested on January 19 2018 following a complaint a husband to one of the sexually molested pregnant women lodged at Dowa Police Station.

He was released on police bail the following day after the complainant reportedly withdrew the case against him.

However, MCM assistant Registrar, Richard Ndovi, said on Tuesday that Chiweta risks having his practitioner’s licence revoked if the council’s investigations prove that he is guilty of the charge being levelled against him.

Ndovi disclosed that the suspect was also subjected to another disciplinary action for sexually molesting a “young woman in the SDI clinic” earlier than the rape incident.

“We investigated the case [sexual molestation] and, for now, we are preparing the report. [But] for the recent rape report that came out in The Sunday Times, it is obviously new to us and we have already communicated to the DHO [District Health Officer] that we can continue adding on to the findings we already have,” he said.

Ndovi said Chiweta’s action borders on the doctor-patient relationship and trust; hence, the penalties set out in the practitioners’ code are severe for medical officers found guilty of breaching the trust.

“When you breach the client’s trust, it’s an issue. He can be deregistered if found guilty,” he said.

In his reaction to The Sunday Times story, Ministry of Health spokesperson, Joshua Malango, said the ministry would not shield the suspect because he has dented the image of the medical profession as well as that of the ministry.

Malango said the withdrawal of the case would not stop the ministry from pursuing the matter further.

“But I must emphasise that, as a ministry, that doesn’t stop us from pursuing the matter further. This borders on unprofessional conduct, which the ministry cannot condone. We are not going to shield him. In fact, we will not shield anyone suspected to have committed crimes,” Malango said.

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