Dar es salaam-based Tanzania Heart Institute (THI) properties were sold at a public auction yesterday following the High Court’s (Land Division) order to recover over 6.9bn/- the former owes the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
The public auction, which was conducted by Erick Auction Mart and Court Brokers, covered all hospital equipment, and was witnessed by hundreds of people, a spot check by The Guardian revealed.
This newspaper also witnessed on the walls of the hospital buildings notices informing the public that the THI facility has been officially closed and that the NSSF had already secured another tenant to occupy the premises located along Tunisia Road in Kinondoni municipality.
“This hospital has been closed following the Court Order and there will be no service offered…This building, which belongs to the NSSF, has already secured a new investor,” reads the announcement in part.
Those getting into the premises to take part in the auction were charged 5,000/- each at the hospital gate and journalists were barred from entering the public auction area.
NSSF public relations manager Eunice Chiume confirming that the auction was held said it was done to implement a court order.
The High Court (Land Division) ordered the auction last month. The sale comes after the THI withdrew its application and appeal seeking to challenge the High Court ruling authorising execution of the order.
According to court records, the application in question was supposed to be withdrawn as long as April 23, this year by Appeal Court Judges Eusebia Munuo, Mbarouk Mbarouk and Salum Massati following a request by THI lawyers.
THI is indebted of 6,964,574,497/- that has not been paid to NSSF since the institute started renting the fund’s buildings.
On March 9, this year High Court Judge Kakusulo Sambo ordered the THI to vacate the NSSF premises for failure to pay the debt.
This was not the first time the High Court issued a vacation order to THI for failure to settle rental fees. In 2008, a similar decision was given, but was set aside later by Court of Appeal after granting an application for revision lodged by the THI after noting some irregularities.