By Tatenda Daisy Gapare
THE opposition MDC has accused government of committing ‘slow genocide’ by causing needless deaths owing to its ongoing stand-off with doctors who have been on strike for over two months.
This comes after government announced it had fired 286 doctors claiming they were guilty of defying a court order compelling them to return to work.
Doctors are demanding better salaries, working conditions and equipment as well as drugs, among other things they require to operate optimally.
MDC deputy spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said government was guilty of causing the suffering of patients, some who have died after failing to get health assistance.
“The Zanu PF government has already criminalised the hardworking doctors and medical personnel, who are incapacitated to come to work due to their measly salaries and despicable working conditions,” Tamborinyoka said in a statement
“This government is, in fact, responsible for the slow genocide taking place in the country’s dysfunctional health institutions, where Zimbabweans are dying due to lack of drugs and poor remuneration for our dedicated medical staff.”
The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) has continuously said its members are willing to return to work only if government meets their demands.
“Our demands are well within the employers’ means,” the ZHDA said in a statement on Wednesday after government announced the dismissal of 286 doctors.
Tamborinyoka said the MDC was in support of doctors and other civil servants who have declared incapacitation over poor salaries.
“As a party born out of the sweat, toil and tears of the working people of Zimbabwe, the MDC is in full support of the legitimate right of civil servants to peacefully express themselves against an uncaring government,.
“In the villages, in the mining towns and across urban areas, Zimbabweans can barely afford a full meal due to the cluelessness of President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” he noted.