25 February 2016

Zimbabwe: Doctors Pull Resources Together to Raise Salaries for Suspended Union Leaders

LOCAL doctors under the highly vocal Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) have put resources together to help union leaders cope in the wake of their summary suspension by government for inciting fellow others to go on strike.

The Health Services Board (HSB) early this month suspended four doctors without pay for spearheading the campaign for better salaries and working conditions for health care workers.

The allegations concern the period between October 2014 and February 2016 a time which saw up to 400 junior doctors and their seniors at government hospitals engage in sporadic industrial action to press for better remuneration.

They have been pushing for the dissolving of the Health Services Board which they accuse of rampant corruption and inept leadership.

The affected doctors are association president Fortune Nyamande, secretary Rusununguko Kanyongo, secretary general Gadzirai Makoni and vice president Hugh Manyere.

The three months suspensions were meant to allow their employer to investigate the allegations but could continue for as long as investigations were not concluded.

But a Dr Mlalazi said Wednesday fellow doctors have taken the initiative to help their embattled leaders cope with the trying period through cash contributions among themselves and from some well-wishers.

"...We the doctors, in an unprecedented show of solidarity have since formed a group on whatsapp with the objective of raising funds for the upkeep of our suspended colleagues," Mlalazi said.

"The group was only created four days ago, but as of yesterday evening, the consolidated total raised amount was only a few dollars shy of $3000, which, if shared among the four of them would be more or less equivalent to a month's earning of their docked salaries.

"Contributions continue to pour in from all over the country, and from across the borders and oceans as well.

"Our intention is not only to leave the HSB with an egg on their face, but also to let the world know of this idiosyncratic, unparalleled and extraordinary feat we have achieved!"

The monies are also meant to assist the affected leaders with litigation costs in efforts to defend themselves from the allegations being brought against them.

The under fire doctors representatives are also accused of "showing improper, threatening, insubordinate or discourteous behaviour".

The doctors have vowed to challenge their suspensions which they say were summarily ordered without giving them a fair hearing.


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