Pressure Congo Government to #freePANZI Hospital's Accounts
This petition had 298 supporters
The TG Foundation was shocked and appalled to learn that the Congolese Government has seized the bank accounts of the Panzi Hospital in Congo. Under the leadership of Doctor Denis Mukwege, the Panzi Hospital has treated over 20,000 victims of sexual violence since the occupation of Congo by Rwandan rebel groups began almost twenty years ago.
The bank accounts of the Panzi Hospital were seized by the Congolese authorities last month. The authorities have imposed a $50,000 monthly tax on the public hospital and want to impose a further $500,000 fine! These fines are ludicrous and the hospital simply cannot afford to pay them and should not have to pay them. By law, puplic hospitals do not pay taxes in Congo: "The seizure of our accounts means that we can no longer make withdrawals. This has a major impact on the operations of the hospital and the care of the sick" said Norbert Nkuna, Human Resources Manager for the hospital. “Already this month, 500 staff employed by the hospital have not received their salaries”. For Mr Patient Bashombe, of the Panzi Counsel, the seizure is illegal: "Panzi Hospital is a general referral hospital. This implies that it is a state hospital. By law public hospitals do not pay taxes in Congo, so legally, seizing the hospital's accounts is illegal."
For 17 years, Doctor Denis Mukwege (Medical Director of the Panzi Hospital) has repeatedly denounced the sexual violence that is taking place in Congo. He has also addressed some of the causes at the root of the violence including poor Governance, lack of state authority, as well as miscarriages of justice.
The TG Foundation, Mothers of Congo and Congolese Activists urge the British Government and the International Community to put pressure on the Congolese Government to lift the seizure placed on the Panzi Hospital's accounts, so that the hospital can resume the invaluable work that it is doing in Congo to help victims of sexual violence. We urge William Hague, the PM's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, to put pressure on the Congolese authorities to lift this seizure so that the Panzi Hospital can continue helping victims of sexual violence and other patients at the hospital. Please Mr Hague & Mr Cameron, do not let the Congo and Panzi Hospital down. Help put pressure on the Congolese Government to #freePANZI. THANK YOU
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