Zimbabwe’s doctors who have been on strike since 1 December are reported to have agreed in principle to call off the job action after a two-hour meeting with Zimbabwe First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa this morning.
The government and the striking doctors had reached a stalemate with each side accusing the other of not being sincere in their negotiations.
Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga was assigned by cabinet to head the negotiations but he appeared to have hit a brick wall and the government was now thinking of hiring 204 doctors to alleviate the situation.
The move was, however, said to be facing resistance from recently qualified doctors as they reportedly felt they were being asked to take on downgraded job position.
Addressing the media after the meeting the First Lady said she understood the grievances of the doctors and would pass them on but the doctors had agreed to return to work while their grievances were being addressed.
In a statement yesterday, the doctors said they were prepared to return to work if the government provided them something to cushion them from the prevailing economic situation.
“The doctors agreed that the government may not be in a position to provide for the grievance in full as this may be too much to ask but implored the government to bring an offer to the table that showed genuine concern on their part to address the plight of its workers,” they said.
“There is nothing that is beyond negotiation and we want to believe the impasse can end with these few measures any day for the sake of our patients at large. Further discussions to correct any other problems can be done after the situation has normalised.”
Zimbabwe’s First Lady would have scored a major coup if she succeeds in getting the doctors back to work as other civil servants were threatening to go on strike in sympathy.