Missing doctor’s family speaks out

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

MISSING medical doctor and union leader Peter Magombeyi’s family is struggling to come to terms with his disappearance but is still hoping he will be returned home alive.

Addressing hundreds of protesting doctors and nurses at Parirernyatwa Hospital car park Wednesday, family spokesperson and uncle to Peter, Harry Magombeyi said as days pass by with no sight of their missing relative, the situation is becoming a psychological and physical drain.

“This is the most difficult period for us as a family,” an emotional Harry told doctors and nurses.

“We are very much devastated by the abduction of our son Peter. We are having sleepless nights trying to imagine what has really happened to him.

“Where is he, is he still alive, we also have lots of questions on why they decided to target him,” said Harry.

He paid tribute to the solidarity that the missing doctor and his family is getting from his colleagues.

“As a family, we really appreciate and we feel humbled when we see doctors and nurses demanding the return of their colleague alive,” he said tearfully.

“It gives us hope and courage that Peter will soon knock at our doors and in good health. What we don’t know is, is it a crime or an offence to ask for better working conditions for doctors. Is it a crime to ask for better working conditions for doctors and nurses, is it a crime to ask for medical equipment to be availed in hospitals so that patients gets better treatment.”

Magombeyi was abducted Saturday night by unknown men and since then, his whereabouts are not known.

As acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), Magombeyi was heavily involved in negotiating for salary review of doctors and better working conditions.

Reports from his colleagues said he started receiving threatening messages during tripartite negotiating forums.

Since his disappearance, his colleagues in Harare and Bulawayo have been protesting under the banner #NoPeterNoWork, #BringBackPeterAlive.

Night vigils are also being held at Harare Central Hospital and Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.