Zimbabwean doctor implicated in Zimbabwe farm grabbing scandal: His UK surgery closed
UK watchdogs have closed a GP surgery in Nottingham run by a Zimbabwean doctor accused of using his connections to President Robert Mugabe to grab a farm.
Zimbabwean activists based in the UK have repeatedly staged protests at the facility demanding the deportation of Dr Sylvester Nyatsuro and his wife Veronica.
The couple, said to be related to Mugabe’s wife Grace, took over a tobacco farm in Zimbabwe with police officers unleashed to forcibly remove white farmer Phillip Rankin and his family from the property.
Images were later released of the Nyatsuros with Grace Mugabe at her Mazowe compound. Pro-democracy group Zimbabwe Vigil said in a statement this week: “The Vigil argues that they are clearly Mugabe supporters and citizenship could have been obtained by means of fraud or false representation.
“The Nyatsuros have no known farming experience.”
The surgery was closed after concerns were raised to their inspection group. Willows Medical Centre in Church Street, Carlton will be temporarily closed after a visit by the Care Quality Commission last Monday.
Inspectors visited the surgery and took immediate action to close it. It will remain closed until further notice during which time the surgery cannot provide any appointments or repeat prescriptions.
A spokesperson for the service said: "The CQC is taking action to protect the safety welfare of patients at The Willows Medical Centre, on Church Street, Carlton, Nottingham, following an inspection in Monday (6 June).
"Inspectors visited the surgery following concerns that had been raised and, as a result, urgent enforcement action is being taken.
“CQC is working closely with Nottingham North and East CCG and NHS England to ensure any patients of the surgery have access to GP services.
"While our legal processes do not allow us to go into further detail at this time, we will publish a full report of our findings in due course. Any action CQC takes is open to appeal."
The findings of the inspection will be published at a later date. Sam Walters, Chief Officer, Nottingham North and East CCG, which commissions services for patients in the area, said they would do their best to ensure patients can still get appointments.
She said: "As commissioners of GP services in Gedling, our priority is ensuring patients affected by this closure have access to high quality, safe and compassionate care.
"We are working closely with the CQC and NHS England team to address the issues highlighted in the CQC inspection.”
The surgery has been at the centre of protests over the past year as well. It was visited by protestors after Nyatsuro’s farm grab in Zimbabwe. Dr Nyatsuro says the land lawfully belongs to him and his wife, Veronica, and rejects allegations that he has taken it as part of Mugabe's controversial redistribution scheme.
A spokesperson for the surgery was unavailable for comment.