Chiwenga tears into striking ‘intern’ doctors

ACTING President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday tore into the striking doctors, dismissing them as mere “interns” who had no respect for ethics and berated them for engaging in the job action.

BY PHYLLIS MBANJE

Addressing media after a brief tour of National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) and Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Chiwenga said it was wrong to call them junior doctors before they had completed their studies and charged that he would put it to Parliament for deliberation.

“How can the Health ministry take someone who has not completed studies? We will not entertain wrong things. We cannot call them junior doctors when they have not finished their internship,” he said.

Speaking on the suspension of the doctors, Chiwenga said they had acted outside the law. “We do not condone defiance. The doctors engaged in an illegal strike. That is unacceptable. Those who withdrew their services chose a wrong profession, because if they are doctors, the patient is their priority,” he said.

“You do not withdraw labour in essential services. We ordered them to go back, but they did not listen and the labour court ruled,”

Chiwenga said the government was trying to address the issues raised and would continue to do everything to ensure that all hospitals were supplied with essential drugs. The shortage of drugs was one of the critical issues raised by the doctors, who said it was now difficult to work without the prerequisite medicines.

He said he was not bothered by the comments on social media about the strike since his concern was saving lives.

“The media has been awash with reports that there are no drugs and gloves, but we have them in stock at NatPharm, ready to be dispensed to facilities,” he said.
“We have a good supply of medicines.”

Although acknowledging that there “were a few shortages here and there”, he said steady supplies were coming in.

Responding to questions on how the hospitals would cope without the more than 500 doctors he said he had made arrangements with the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry to recruit student doctors who had just completed their studies.

“From this weekend, we should start to see a change in the hospitals,” he said.

The Health minister Obadiah Moyo, who accompanied Chiwenga on the tour, said the issue of medicines was being addressed, and they were hopeful it would improve the situation. “Medicines are coming in, and even though it is not 100%, we have to start somewhere,” Moyo said.

Cabinet this month tasked Chiwenga with resolving the ongoing impasse between the State and the striking junior doctors.

In April this year, Chiwenga, in his capacity as head of the social services cluster, summarily dismissed some 16 000 striking nurses after they rejected a plea from government to return to their posts, while negotiations for a salary adjustment continued.

This came after management at most major hospitals also joined the nurses’ industrial action.

Chiwenga, at the time, said the drastic measure was taken after nurses continued with their strike even as Treasury had disbursed $17 114 446 to cover the outstanding salary arrears for nurses.

Chiwenga argued the strike had turned political and government went on to officially fire some 6 000 nurses, only to make an about turn a week later, withdrawing the dismissal letters and also employing more who had been languishing without jobs.

19 Comments

  1. Herman Marechera

    “We do not condone defiance”, said Mr Constantino Chiwenga. Doctors are not your soldiers sekuru Chiwenga. Managing civilians and commanding soldiers are two different things, Constantino.
    Please learn the art of negotiating not threatening. It doesn’t work outside barracks, cde.

  2. Chiwenga, for the sake of humanity, do not put on your military jacket when dealing with civilian matters, pleaase i beg you. This issue of ordering everyone around when a simple dialogue is needed is not good. Remember you are dealing with adults, civilised adults, hence talk & understand their needs & concerns and put out a course of action to address the grievances.

  3. Well, the General Chiwenga needs to be reminded that even a recruit is a soldier, and that Command tactics will not work in a civil society. He will once again be left with ‘egg in his face’ as all those Doctors will be re-instated when ED comes back from leave.

  4. You know what Guvheya…..madoctor havaite 6 months training yechisoja. They are professionals. After form 4 vanoenda A level voita 15 points MPC. Voita 5 solid years pa UZ. Wakuda kuita correct the wrong yemadoctor iwe wakaramba wani to correct wrong ye coup nabobby. Itai mushe vakuru imimi. No wonder why jonso aiita question your PHD.

  5. Comment…Kudirirana jecha

  6. SO FOR ALL THESE YEARS THEY HAVE BEEN EMPLOYING INTERNS AND NOVICES TO PERFOM MEDICAL OPERATIONS ON US? GOD HAVE MERCY ON THEM. NO WONDER THEY SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION FROM ABROAD ISU TICHIFIRA MUNO. LORD HAVE MERCY

  7. Surprisingly Chiwenga forgot that he had bandages on both his hands himself & yet was busy insulting the very same tradesmen who save his life everyday

  8. CHIWENGA urid@uzvi 2m2usa2ta2ny2oko2 pamberi nemadoctor S@a@t@a@N

  9. Vanhuvawone Ndayiziveyi

    Comment…Zvimwe zvezvinhu zvakakumbirwa nana Chiremba mishonga, zvekushandisa, uye mari. Imi mukapiwa $280-$500 bond irikupiwa Chiremba inokukwanirayi here? Nekudaro yenyuwo ngaidzikiskwe kusvika apa. Pamishonga nezvimwe zvekushandisa, nezuro nhau dzairatidza mazirori ayinzi akatakura mishonga nemagirovhosi ndovimba nedust coats. Ko izvi zvakadi kuunzwa mushure mokunge zvakumbirwa? Seyi maimirira vatange varamwa basa. Ana Chiremba avana kukumbira mari chete. Asi nhasi uno mongotaura nezvemari chete. Ko sei imi muchinorapwa kune dzimwe nyika setisina zvedu zvipatara. Seyi vatungamiri veSA, China neMalasia vasingauye korapwa muZimbabwe? Imi chete ndimi moenda kwavo, seyi? Ndokurikuperera forex.

  10. ED is on leave, and so interestingly we are having misbehaviour around life garages.

    1. Why don’t you study medicine for 7 years and do the work yourself? We will all be grateful and it will make a difference

  11. Remedio Fernandes

    The Vice president accuses the junior doctors of choosing the wrong profession because they have withdrawn their services. Has the Vice President not chosen incorrectly by going into politics? Politicians are the servants of the people seeing to the needs of ALL before approving luxuries for parliamentarians.

  12. Chiwenga must be sick you can see that he is in the wrong office which is very hot for him.Our government is refusing to solve the symptoms which is BOND NOTES which they are claiming they it is 1:1 with US dollar. Black market is selling at 350 bond per 100USD which is the Doctor salary. What joke. Baba vemhuri vanoda kuendesa vana kuChikoro ikoko varikuda 500 bond notes next month.Chiwenga is wasting time trying to do stock take to the already expired drugs at NATPHARM.

  13. when these people get ill they will just fly abroad for treatment and kuno vakuti madoctors ari wrong

  14. Takabvuma kutongwa nevanhu vanorwara zvavo. When everyone is seated properly guvheya anenge achingoshiringinya!!!

  15. Ah. Uku ndiko kudira jecha to the doctors’s industrial action. Doctors, unlike some of us, do not rceive education through distance education.

  16. I blame this all on Lord Soames, Carrington, Thatcher, the snakes at Lancaster House, Peter Walls (duped, not malicious), Andrew Young, jimmy Carter, the Scandinavian Countries, World Council of Churches, the Catholic Church, etc.

    Get my drift, people? The above all know what they did.

  17. I do not blame the people of Zimbabwe. The ones to blame are well documented.

    Hey, what was wrong with the Bishop anyway?

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