Chamisa slams ED for lavish jet hire while doctors strike for wages

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By Thandiwe Garusa

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has slammed President Emmerson Mnangagwa for his extravagant hiring of jets using millions of scarce US dollars while ignoring striking doctors’ pleas to be remunerated in hard currency.

He was addressing journalists at the Hope Of Nation Address (HONA) on Wednesday in the wake of a near three month long strike action over poor wages by hundreds of Zimbabwe public hospital doctors.

Government has moved to fire nearly 300 doctors for refusing to end the country’s longest ever job action by doctors since independence.

Said the opposition chief, “If I were the one (President), I would have literally left everything, no private jet, no flying to Dubai, no banquet, all money to the doctors because doctors define our lives.

“An attack on our health is an attack on the nation. The security of the nation is in the security of our health. If our health system is attacked, it means we are vulnerable.”

Chamisa added; “I suppose they (government officials) do not see the difference because they get treated in five-star hotels, five-star hospitals across the whole world.

“That’s why they choose to go to Dubai, China for treatment, but a lot of our citizens cannot afford to go to Musina (South Africa) for treatment.

“I have seen that our doctors have now gone into their 80th day of a strike.

“No serious government would fail to address the plight of doctors under serious circumstances.

“This is why we must correct the situation and pay our doctors in hard foreign currency.

“…You do not fly the jet using bond notes, you fly a jet using US dollars,” Chamisa said while referring to Mnangagwa’s foreign travels on a hired jet.

“Let us get our priorities right. That is the where we must go, that is the situation we find ourselves in.”