Are Zimbabwe doctors demanding an increment of 700 %?


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HON. CHIKWINYA:  In his response, the Hon. Minister says Government is committed to the welfare of civil servants in general, including doctors and nurses.  The Minister of Finance in the previous week announced a 76% salary increment effective 1st August to Civil Servants in an effort to ameliorate the situation as schools are beginning to open – is it possible to explain to this House when this money is going to be paid to the Civil Servant as they expect to pay school fees and to cover some of the problems being raised by the doctors and nurses in the general civil service?

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Indeed, we deliberated on this issue and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development undertook to ensure that before schools open, most likely by end of this week, he would have given the civil service their salary increases to cushion them with a view to ensuring that they pay school fees.  It is something that is being done and I believe some have already received it.

HON. T. MLISWA: With due respect, the Leader of Government business must take to the fact that the economic situation is not good. As a nation, we cannot be insensitive to the plight of the people and being hard in response.  For him to say that it is a democratic right to protest and demonstrate when the courts are saying that you cannot demonstrate because its national security concern – I think it is proper to say that the Government is trying by all means to ensure that we bring to an end the suffering of the people rather than him pushing that agenda of strikes.

It hit me hard because our people are suffering.  I expect him to have a heart for our people and say that we are trying by all means to improve the conditions of our people. I remain guided by you Mr. Speaker.  For him to say it is their democratic right yet the courts are saying they cannot march – there is nothing to lead us to democracy when the courts have clearly spoken.  The Minister has a heart; he can speak better than that – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Let us not confuse issues.  We are talking about doctors and the Hon. Minister contextualised the issue of how to cushion the challenges the civil service is facing now.  It was not a general question about the challenges the people of Zimbabwe altogether are facing.  This is in relationship to the doctors and civil servants accordingly.  Let us not argue outside the original question.

So, I rule.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  The question from Hon. Mamombe was in two parts.  The first part was – what are we doing about the doctors salaries, they have given a notice – [HON. MLISWA:  Inaudible interjection.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order!

HON. ZIYAMBI:  The second part was; she wanted a permanent solution so that they do not strike.  So I answered it in two parts and said we are looking holistically at the plight of civil servants with a view of improving their conditions of service – that shows sensitivity.

The second part was, what do we do with strikes so that they do not occur.  In answer to that, I said you cannot determine now since we have a right that is there in the Constitution to demonstrate – a permanent solution.  What if something happens in future that dictates that they have to take that route.  It was in response to a futuristic event to say that you cannot prescribe what is going to happen tomorrow.  It was not in reference to the present situation and the present plight.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I allowed the Hon. Minister.

Hon. Tsunga having stood up.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is happening my friend?  I have not finished.

HON. TSUNGA:  I thought you had finished.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, I had not.  I indulged the Hon. Minister and I think he has emphasised that the responses were confined to the questions originally asked.  So, I do not think we can go outside the purview of that question and the attended supplementary questions.

Continued next page

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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