By Kundai Maponga
DOCTORS working at government hospitals downed tools and confronted government in an all out demonstration, in protest against the alleged abduction of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZDHA) acting president Peter Magombeyi.
Magombeyi has been the face of an industrial action by doctors protesting against poor working conditions, poor salaries and a critical shortage of medicines and equipment in the hospitals rendering them useless as professionals.
The doctors said they would not return to work before Magombeyi was returned safely to his family.
The doctors who took into the city held placards written “No Peter, No Work,” “No to abductions,” “#Hungry, Incapacitated, Angry.’
One of the doctors, John Dandadzi who spoke to HSTV said the alleged abduction of Magombeyi and below living wage paid out to doctors, the dire and hopeless situation in hospitals had triggered the protest.
“Our issues are mainly that one of our junior doctors was abducted on Saturday night and we are here because of that, but the primary reason for the strike was that we are not getting enough salaries. I think now we are getting equivalent of about US$50-100 from US$1 500 that we were getting in 2017 so our salaries have been eroded and we are not happy about that because we can’t look after our families. We also have another problem that is we don’t have medicines in our hospitals,” said Dandadzi.
Dandadzi added that without the government addressing of those issues doctors will not go back to work.
“Even the patients in the hospitals they are not getting anything, actually we are not giving them anything because there are no medicines and we can’t take them to theatre because our theatres are not functioning well,” Dandadzi said.
The doctors also wrote to President Emmerson Mnangagwa demanding the return their fellow medical practitioner.