By Leopold Munhende
HEALTH Minister Obadiah Moyo has issued a surprise demand for the immediate release of abducted doctors’ union leader, Peter Magombeyi after Zimbabwean doctors have refused to go back to work if their comrade was not brought back.
Magombeyi, who is Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) acting president, was allegedly abducted Saturday by suspected State agents from his Harare home Saturday.
He was spearheading a crippling strike action by public service hospital doctors who are demanding a review of their wages and working conditions.
Striking doctors have placed his release as one of the conditions to their return to work.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Health Training workshop for some 100 journalists in Harare Monday, Moyo condemned the shock incident.
“I want my doctor, whoever has him should bring him back,” said the minister.
“We condemn this act and demand his immediate release. We have already engaged the police and other security agencies who have indicated that they are working flat out to find him.
“I communicated this when I heard of it and maintain that as my position, whoever is holding him should let him go.”
A prayer vigil was held Sunday night by doctors, nurses and sympathisers who were calling for the return of Magombeyi.
Information secretary Nick Mangwana has distanced the State from the abduction, saying this could be the works of a “third force”.
The ZCTU blamed the abduction on Mugombeyi and several other activists seized in the recent past to acts of paid hooligans.