Doctors vow to continue with industrial action

BY GERALD MUTSVAIRO

PUBLIC hospital doctors have vowed to continue with their industrial action despite the return of their abducted colleague, Peter Magombeyi, who went missing last Saturday before being dumped in Nyabira, 40km north west of Harare on Thursday night.

Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) acting leader Dean Ndoro said Magombeyi was now receiving medical check-up at a private hospital in Harare.

“Dr Peter Mugombeyi is safe, but I’m not in a position to comment on these issues. There is so much speculation and it is not my duty to comment on the issue, but the Ministry of Health. We are still waiting to find answers and to hear from the Ministry of Health,” he said, confirming that doctors were still continuing with their strike for better working conditions.

“Today (yesterday), they were gathering and we are talking to bring more demonstrations to the government. They are not going back. It is a good thing Peter Mugombeyi and people are happy that he is back. I’m not sure if this return will stop the doctors from demonstrating but they want salaries to be increased,” he said.

Magombeyi’s disappearance triggered mayhem in the health sector as nurses and doctors downed tools demanding his safe return, accusing State security agents of leading the alleged abduction.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo accused non-governmental organisations of politicising the incident, singling out the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human Rights for allegedly fomenting chaos in the medical field.

“All in the hope of receiving filthy lucre from the nation’s detractors is not only unpatriotic, but rather unbridled irresponsibility from a quarter in the nation expects to know better. All must be warned that the ruling party, Zanu PF, will not stand akimbo while such lawlessness is being perpetrated,” he said.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations into Magombeyi’s disappearance were in progress.

“Dr Magombeyi is still in hospital and he has been examined by (private) doctors and government doctors. He has been given access to his lawyers, family and friends. He is not under arrest contrary to reports in other sections of the media,” he said.

“There were many lawyers who were showing up. So we asked them to organise themselves so that we know who is dealing with the police.”

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