Striking doctors are hypocrites: Chiwenga

ACTING President Constantino Chiwenga has described the striking doctors at public health institutions as hypocrites who are lying under oath.

BY SIMBARASHE SITHOLE

Addressing government officials during a visit to Kanyemba in Mashonaland Central yesterday, Chiwenga said it was inhuman for professionals like doctors to withdraw their services to force government to improve their working conditions.

He hailed doctors at Kanyemba’s Chapoto Clinic for soldiering on dispute working under difficult conditions.

“I am glad that no staff at Chapoto Clinic here in Kanyemba withdrew their services. We are not saying, you don’t feel the pain, but you soldiered on by not striking,” Chiwenga said.

“When you withdraw your service, that is a breach of the Hippocratic Oath, because when you withdraw your services, you are not fixing government but the people that you serve,” he said.

Chiwenga has been in charge of negotiations with doctors, who downed tools a month ago demanding improved working conditions, but the talks collapsed as the medical professionals insisted on being paid in United States dollars.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa early this week had to cut short his leave to address the deteriorating situation in the heath sector as more health officials have downed tools in solidarity with the striking doctors.

After the briefing, Chiwenga addressed a rally at Chapoto Business Centre where he implored community members to unite and fight poverty.

“As Zanu PF, we would like to say Happy New Year; we also want to thank you for voting for us in the just-ended elections. We came here to check on the progress we made since our campaign time,” Chiwenga said.

“The President (Mnangagwa) is on leave and I was with him yesterday (Wednesday) and he gave you a Christmas box of 90 tonnes of grain. He said he will come to commission the floating bridge (across the Zambezi River linking Zambia and Zimbabwe).”

He said Kanyemba would be a city by 2023.