Doctors get threats over strike
By Chengeto Chidi
Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) has vowed to soldier on in the face of renewed threats against its leadership and a government move to politicise the standoff.
Addressing a press conference ZHDA secretary general Tawanda Zvakada, said there were renewed threats against their leadership and accused government of stalling progress in negotiations to get doctors back at work by politicising the dispute
“We reiterate that it is counterproductive for the employer to politicise what is clearly a labour dispute,” he said.
Zvakada said doctors were open to have a none political dialogue with the government in order to address the standoff that has left government hospitals without doctors for 50 days.
“ZHDA remains open for meaningful dialogue with the employer with a neutral mediator to swiftly resolve the crisis,” he said.
Zvakada expressed his disappointment with the government’s moves to intervene saying it is worsening the situation,
“The past 50 days have marked a long journey to freedom. The most recent assault has been the withholding of October salaries for all doctors who have not been reporting to work due to the very fact that they are financially liquidated. This move has done nothing but further incapacitated and embolden the doctors to continue fighting for a living wage,” he said.
ZHDA said it was not politically affiliated to any party or agenda and would not be held responsible for any of its member’s political utterances
“Allow me to emphasize that as the Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors’ Association we are apolitical and we do not pursue any political agenda. Any politicised comments made by ZHDA members are done so in their personal capacity as a reflection of their personal views and ZHDA cannot be held accountable for such,” explained Zvakada.
In a sign that the fight is far from over ZHDA said they will not be forced back to work if a solution is not reached.
“As ZHDA we vow that we will not rest until we see a healthcare system that our acting president Dr Magombeyi fought for and continues to fight for. As ZHDA we remain hopeful that long lasting solutions may be found through robust and meaningful dialogue,” he said.