By Costa Nkomo
OUTSPOKEN cleric and businessman Shingi Munyeza has urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to be more realistic when dealing with the plight of striking Zimbabwean doctors who are demanding a living wage.
Munyeza is part of a group of eminent individuals appointed by Mnangagwa into his team of advisers.
Writing on Twitter recently, Munyeza urged government to urgently equip public hospitals and stop celebrating mediocrity.
“Let’s reopen our hospitals – enough is enough! Pay the doctors a living wage and equip hospitals.
“All hands on deck, we can do this before Christmas if we are willing and able. Let’s stop reducing our capacity and stop celebrating mediocrity in service delivery,” said the Harare preacher, in apparent reference to praise sent to an elderly Harare woman who helped nearly a hundred expecting mothers deliver from her home during the absence of striking doctors.
Zimbabwe’s public hospitals have become death traps following a crippling strike action by hundreds of junior doctors manning the country’s health institutions since September this year.
The critical medical staff has been demanding US dollar wages or Zimbabwe dollar salaries pegged according to prevailing interbank exchange rates.
The impasse with government has seen authorities sack over 400 after the doctors have ignored orders for them to resume work.
Government’s half-hearted commitment to addressing the country’s health challenges was exposed by Vice President’s Constantino Chiwenga’s decision to seek medical assistance for four months in a Chinese hospital while less privileged Zimbabweans are made to seek treatment in poorly equipped local institutions.
Senior doctors early this month took to the streets in protest poor conditions within local health facilities while scolding top government officials for seeking more advanced health care abroad.