BY VANESSA GONYE
STRIKING public hospital doctors have claimed that they spurned Strive Masiyiwa’s Higher Life Foundation (HLF)’s salary offer after realising that the Econet Wireless founder was working in cahoots with government to coerce them to call off their industrial action.
They also claimed that some of their members were being forced to sign assumption of duty forms.
Last week, Masiyiwa extended an offer to the doctors, supposedly to help solve the impasse with their employer so they could return to work.
But events appear to have twisted, revealing government’s hand in the whole issue.
In a statement yesterday, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) said: “Following our solidarity meeting we had today (yesterday), it was agreed that we should stop applying because HLF is trying to arm-twist us into accepting their offer; we have received information that members are now being forced to sign assumption of duty, which is now forcing our members back to work, also the government is asking for a list of those who applied which shows their fingers in this HLF plan.”
The doctors further said: “So we are advising our members to withhold the HLF application process with immediate effect. We will patiently wait in the trenches till there is a reasonable offer from the government.”
Masiyiwa and his wife Tsitsi, through HLF, set up a $100 million fund which was to see up to 2 000 doctors employed by government getting $5 000 each on top of what they are earning from their employer.
The doctors have been on strike since September.
Health Services Board chairperson, Paulinus Sikhosana declined to comment saying his board was not involved in the application process.