Court hands Trauma Centre back to Solanki

The High Court has handed back the Trauma Centre Hospital in Harare to Dr Viven Solanki who had been booted out of his investment by directors of South Africa-based African Medical Investments that was now running the hospital in Belgravia after a boardroom coup.

Dr Viven Solanki
Dr Viven Solanki

The court ruled that AMI Plc acted improperly in grabbing the hospital from Solanki and has ordered AMI Plc to vacate the premises. An elated Solanki said he was glad the court had reversed the "fraudulent and violent" take-over of his investment.

The Trauma Centre deals primarily with trauma medical emergencies, vaccination services and local ambulance support.

Solanki was despoiled of his Trauma Centre Hospital, which he had been operating for the past 16 years in July of 2010. Solanki brought an action of expoilation to the courts, which was granted on Wednesday.

It marks the end of a convoluted legal battle between Solanki, a renowned medical doctor and entrepreneur, against his ex-partners namely Andrew Groves and Phillipe Edmonds, both of them British citizens; Joseph Cleverdon, an American citizen and managers Jeremy Sanford, Peter Annesley, Peter Botha, Liz Gordon, Rodrique Mlauzi, Butch Rodrigues, Brett Windstone, Neil Clayton, Wayne Stolts, Paul Stevenson among others accused by Solanki of trying to fraudulently appropriate the business and assets using intimidation, violence and contacts in the CID and CIO of Zimbabwe.

The business sharks who staged the boardroom coup are also involved in various “mining operations” under London Stock Exchange listed Sable Mining Africa Ltd.

Solanki said this was the first of many legal actions against AMI Plc, its directors and managers to come. Under a management agreement, he teamed with a group of investors to build hospitals across Africa and manage existing clinics in South Africa and Zimbabwe, in exchange for shares of publicly traded company AMI Plc.

After building new hospitals in Dar es Salaam, Maputo and Harare plus a clinic in Cape Town in a period of 18 months, Solanki clashed with AMI Plc directors Andrew Groves and Phil Edmonds over alleged money laundering and falsification of documents. What broke the camel's back was reportedly an argument over the alleged overpricing of the purchase of a personal private jet by AMI director Andrew Groves.

"It’s only because of their political contacts in Zimbabwe they have managed to avoid arrest and continue to be protected,” Solanki said.

"The American and British governments have placed sanctions on Zimbabwe primarily because of human rights abuses and disregard for rule of law and civil rights, yet their own citizens conducting business here are committing even worse violations,” he alleged.

Solanki was booted out after auditors uncovered understatement of revenue at the centre, excessive profits taken by an intermediary supplier, supply of goods and services for personal use charged to the company, supplier payments to employees, payroll irregularities and falsification of supplier invoices.

Chairman Phil Edmonds said the discovery of the financial irregularities had come as a “huge shock”, which had been “highly distractive" hence the decision to boot out Solanki.

Solanki said he would challenge the libellous allegations which appeared in the press in the recent months at what he alleged was at the instigation of his ex-partners.

Claims of pending Interpol arrest warrants and absconding, for example, are being de facto proved false by Solanki’s presence in court last week. Solanki said he had been in Zimbabwe for several months defending and fighting for his rights and the return of his business and other personal assets, and hoped to continue serving the community.

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