Striking doctors vow more defiance, claim Govt-Masiyiwa connivance

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

SACKED junior doctors Monday accused telecoms mogul Strive Masiyiwa of attempts to coerce them into accepting his Higher Life Foundation (HLF)’s cash and material offer so as to end their three-month strike.

Government has fired more than 400 doctors employed in the country’s public hospitals for embarking on a strike action the courts have declared illegal.

Authorities have directed the sacked hospital staff to place fresh reapplications if they wished to continue with their employment.

The defiant medical staff has however refused to give in, insisting nothing short of fulfilment of their demands will make them end their strike.

In a statement Monday, doctors insisted they were not going to accept any enticement outside the demands they have placed before the authorities as a precondition to returning to work.

Masiyiwa, through his charity organisation, last week tabled a $100 million monetary incentive for 2 000 Zimbabwean doctors.

The arrangement would see each doctor receive $5 000, smartphone, a VAYA taxi ride from home, uniforms and diagnostic aids. The incentive is set to last for six months.

But through their representative Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), the medical practitioners said they had reason to believe that Masiyiwa was in cahoots with government.

“Following the solidarity meeting we had today (Monday), it was agreed that we should stop applying because HLF is trying to armtwist us into accepting their offer.

“We have received information that members are now being forced to sign assumption of duty, which is now forcing our members back to work, also the government is asking for a list of those who applied which shows their finger in this HLF plan.

“So, we are advising our members to withhold the HLF application processes with immediate effect.

“We will patiently wait in the trenches till there is a reasonable offer from the government,” reads the statement.