Doctors vow continued strike despite abduction on union leader

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

ZIMBABWE’S striking doctors have vowed to continue with their job action despite the abduction of union leader by suspected State agents on Saturday.

Peter Magombeyi, acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) was seized by some unidentified men in what has been linked to an attempt to intimidate doctors who recently embarked on a strike to press for improved salaries.

The doctors said Sunday they were going to continue with their industrial action until government addressed their grievances and their leader is returned.

Over sixty public hospital doctors dressed in their white lab coats protested at the central hospital holding placards inscribed, “Bring back Dr Peter Magombeyi”, “No to abductions #incapacitated”, “No Peter, No negotiations”.

Addressing the protesting doctors, ZHDA Vice President, Dean Ndoro said they were boycotting their jobs until Magombeyi was returned safe and their demands met by their employer.

“When one of us has been abducted, we don’t know who is next. So we are making a demand for the immediate release of Dr Peter Magombeyi so that we know our position.

“At the moment, no one is reporting for duty until Peter Magombeyi is back and until the employer addresses our matter the way we want.”

Government at a recent meeting with the doctors’ welfare group’s representatives, indicated that there was going to be a salary increment of $360 which the health staff dismissed as an insult.

At a recent post cabinet briefing, Health Minister, Obadiah Moyo proposed a law banning future strike actions by health workers, something the ZHDA vowed to challenge.