Marina locks up whistle blower

Marina hospital
Marina hospital

In what looks like an act of revenge, the whistleblower who exposed Princess Marina Hospital’s negligence last week, has been charged with common nuisance by the police.

Gontle Kwelo was charged on Friday after he was locked up at the Central Police for more than two hours at the behest of the hospital. The hospital management reported him to the police for allegedly recording a verbal exchange he had with the nurses in the latest episode of the saga. The youthful Kwelo says when he went to the hospital to check on his sick uncle, the nurses barred him from leaving the ward after hurling insults at him. He said the nurses closed the door as he was walking out and accused him of tarnishing their name.

Kwelo told The Monitor that he tried to record the nurses as they insulted him, but they hid their faces. He said he was surprised when all the nurses in the ward prevented him from leaving and the security guards hand-cuffed him and took him to management offices. The managers demanded that he should delete whatever he may have recorded at the hospital.

 They refused to let him go even though he explained to them that  he had not recorded anything since his  phone did not have memory. The police were called, but they also confirmed there were no photos or recording on his phone, according to him.  He was taken to the Gaborone Central Police Station where he was locked up for more than two hours until he phoned a law officer who rescued him. He did not leave a free man though, as he was hit with criminal

 charges of common nuisance.


Marina Response

Kwelo went to Princess Marina Friday morning to check on his admitted relative and he demanded to be given his relatives medical cards. The nurses on duty told him he cannot be given the cards but instead a doctor could be called to explain the contents of the card and health situation of the patient. Since doctors were in a ward meeting and a little bit after visiting hours, he was told an arrangement would be made at lunch hour so that a medical doctor can explain in detail.

He then started taking pictures of the nurses who were helping him inside the medical ward. They told him it is against the law to take pictures within the hospital premises without consent because he risk compromising privacy of other patients. He continued taking pictures and the nurses called our security who then escorted him  out to the management offices.

Upon arrival at the offices, he was told taking pictures within the hospital is not allowed and asked to delete them before he is allowed to leave. Gontle Kwelo then told PMH management that indeed he took pictures as proof of the nurses who helped him, adding that even if pictures are deleted from his phone he can retrieve them later.

It is against this background that we called the police to intervene because besides violating the law he was disturbing the peace in the hospital. We have patients who don’t want noise at all because it disturbs their recovery. He also hurled abusive words saying our nurses ‘ke dikweejane’.

Donnell Kutlapye

Chief Communications and Public Relations Officer

Princess Marina Hospital


Gontle Response

Morena that story was made-up by the nurses,I  would not start taking pictures simply because I have been  told that the doctor is not in or check them by lunch time..!  the truth is I  was insulted,called  names, a liar,lelope all those bitter names, thats why I decided to take a photo of the nurse who was insulting me and I told her that I am taking your photo as proof that you are the one who insulted me,  I told the management everything ,but they said it is wrong to take photos in the hospital premises. I  was asked to delete the photos, we checked the photos  in the presence of  Donnell Kutlapye, no photos where found, they asked how many photos I took, I said  2-3 photos, but I told them that the phone has  no memory,so no photo was taken.

But they said since Iam an ICT person  maybe I put the photos on icloud or attached them on my email, I told them my phone does not go online, and that even if I had  deleted them, still I can retrieve them if I like, but there  is no how a phone without a memory could save photos or anything... So they called the police to  help search my phone; they came and took me ,and they searched the phone, still there was no trace  of deleted photos or taken photos for that day.  But they charged me with common nuisance and was sent into a cell, for 2 hrs 30 minuts

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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