Dr. Denis Mukwege leads the world renown Panzi Hospital in Bukavu which focuses on treating rape victims and re-constructive surgeries. He has survived many dangerous moments and assassination attempts amid calls for him to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Mukwege has been honoured with a long list prestigious awards, most recently the Sakharov prize, the top European human rights award. Our connection to Dr. Mukwege goes back to some collaborative efforts with Healing Streams in developing training material for dealing with trauma caused by rape. Michael has been honoured by having a private dinner with Dr. Mukwege and his family during one of his visits to Canada.

Dr Denis Mukwege

Dr Denis Mukwege of the Panzi Hospital

But Dr. Mukwege has commented that DRC President Joseph Kabila should be limited to the two terms in office as prescribed in the constitution. Clearly an inhibition to healthy democracies throughout Africa has been strong men who do not gracefully leave office and assist in a smooth transition of power. It appears that his comments did not go over well and the Panzi has subsequently been accused of tax fraud. Giving it’s history as a registered hospital and being the only such hospital in the DRC now deemed to be a for profit organization, it is hard to understand the claims as not having political motivation. The hospital’s bank accounts have been frozen and staff are now unpaid, causing them to go on strike and demonstrate at the local tax office.