A 39-year-old man who has been frequenting Mchinji District Hospital dangling a stethoscope and posing as a doctor was arrested by the police on Tuesday.
Mchinji Police say Blass¬ings Chisale, from Chimwaza Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Chimwaza in Mchinji District, will be taken to court this Friday, charged with im¬personating public officers, contrary to Section 99 of the Penal Code.
Chisale’s constant change of identity raised suspicion as he used up to four names interchangeably to suit circum-stances, according to police.
Apart from the name Blessings, he is identified as C. Simoko on an identity card of one security firm, while village-mates and those at the hospital identified him as Gift Chimwaza and Veriano Fulu¬lani respectively.
Charles Mixon, a hospi¬tal guard at Mchinji District Hospital, told police on Tues¬day that the suspect told them that he was a trained medical practitioner briefly attached to the hospital as a doctor awaiting transfer to Mzuzu Central Hospital .
Confirming the devel¬opments yesterday, Mchinji Police Station spokesperson Moses Nyirenda told The Nation in Lilongwe the sus¬pect was arrested by a plain-clothed detective.
He said: “We searched his house and found a security firm’s uniform and identity card. It seems he worked for this security company before, under the Simoko name. “As for the stethoscope, the suspect says he acquired it when he undertook a Chris¬tian Health Association of Malawi course which he failed to complete because of fees problems. He says he has some good knowledge of clinical science. He denies posing as a doctor, but says he frequented Mchinji Hospi¬tal in the hope that he could eventually be drafted as a member of staff.”
The incident, said to be the first in Mchinji District, comes at a time when two other young men several months ago posed as doc¬tors at Queen Elizabeth and Kamuzu central hospitals in Blantyre and Lilongwe respectively. The two were much bolder and more in¬trusive, as they even treated or discharged patients at the hospitals; they are both serv-ing prison sentences after they were arrested and con¬victed.