Zimbabwe fires 77 striking doctors


Zimbabwe has fired 77 government doctors who have been on strike for 63 days.

The doctors went on strike at the beginning of September arguing that their salaries were now so low that they could no longer afford money for transport to work.

The government initially awarded them a 60 percent adjustment, then added another 40 percent, but the doctors refused to return to work.

They demanded to be paid the equivalent of their salaries in October last year at the current interbank rate.

The local currency was at par with the United States dollar in October last year but is now nearly 16:1.

While appreciating the plight of the doctors President Emmerson Mnangagwa said there now appeared to be a political agenda behind the strike.

Health Minister Obadiah Moyo today said disciplinary hearings for the doctors began on 1 November and involved 80 doctors that were charged.

Seventy-seven were found guilty and discharged.

Moyo told cabinet that necessary measures were being instituted to ensure that the situation in the health sector returns to normal in the shortest possible time.

He said medical services at most central hospitals were constrained.

The situation in Harare was being compounded by the strike by council nurses.

Zimbabwe is already facing a critical shortage of doctors.

Its decision to fire 77 is a clear signal to civil servants that they can be fired if they make unreasonable demands.

The government used doctors in January to prove that it would not bend down to their demands when they went on strike.

Civil servants a planning a protest tomorrow.


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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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