New Zimbabwe.com

Health Ambassadors for ED in chaotic start; fail to articulate mandate

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By Darlington Gatsi


CHAOS and disorder marred the first Health Ambassadors for Economic Development’s (ED) public meeting aimed at launching support for President Emmerson Mnangagwa ahead of crunch 2023 elections.

The formation becomes the latest parallel structure coming out in support of Mnangangwa’s re-election for a second term.

The group is made up of all health workers stationed in government, municipality and private health institutions.

The leadership, largely made up of registered general nurses, said it had made its mandate to ramp up support for Mnangagwa ahead of next year’s general elections.

“Our objective is to provide a platform for mobilisation of health workers that are employed, unemployed workers, village health workers for ED (President Mnangagwa) and need to integrate society with the health community of the party,” Kudakwashe Maswiswi, the national coordinator.

Formation of the body comes on the back of growing disgruntlement within the health sector over poor working conditions for workers.

In July, nurses, doctors and ancillary staff downed tools demanding an increase in salaries.

Recently, a letter emerged from the Health and Childcare Permanent Secretary, Jasper Chimedza informing workers that the 13th cheque will be performance based.

Asked by NewZimbabwe.com if the new outfit would champion the interests of health professionals, Maswiswi dodged the question saying their mandate was to empower health workers with extra skills.

Observers argue the formation was an attempt to thwart disgruntlement in the critical sector.

In 2019, First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa was appointed as the Ministry of Health and Child Care ambassador as a reward for her philanthropic work in health awareness.

Despite backing Mnangagwa in elections, the organisation maintained its stance of being an apolitical and voluntary outfit.

“We are a wholly apolitical advocacy group, which seeks to mobilise health workers to be part of the national cause and compliment policy implementation and push for better conditions of service. As such we call upon progressive forces to be part of this broad strategic cause,” said Maswiswi.