Zim trainee doctors in embarrassing apology to Chiwenga

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By Anna Chibamu

ZIMBABWEAN doctors specialising in different medical disciplines across the country and in their Masters’ programmes have apologised to Vice President and Health minister Constantino Chiwenga over protests that led to their suspension.

The medical practitioners who met with the top three ministry officials at Munhumutapa government offices in Harare on Monday, took turns asking for forgiveness for protesting over poor working conditions and remuneration, something that led to their suspensions early this year.

Pleaded one of the doctors who identified himself as Nigel Tsvangwa, “We are apologetic over what happened a few months ago. Can you allow us to finish our studies?”

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Students in Training group representative Dr Maxwell Chimhina also expressed his regrets.

“We are really sorry about the events that led to our suspension. We hope you are going to find a heart in forgiving us to finish our studies and serve the communities.”

A doctor by the name Yemurai also told Chiwenga and ministry officials she and her colleagues were committed to providing health care to the people of Zimbabwe.

Their lecturer Walter Mangezi stated: “We appreciate the government for the training which is very expensive and sometimes we take it for granted.

“On behalf of the doctors, we appeal to you to give them an opportunity to come back to school.”

Deputy minister Mangwiro had this to say, “The doctors are your children. They have realised what they did. They are young adults and can easily be affected by mob psychology.

“They are good doctors who regret their actions.”

Chiwenga, on his part, warned the doctors not to repeat the protests in future but to seek negotiations with government on their grievances.

“I urge you to remain calm as we device workable avenues and abide by ethics.

“There is no need for perennial industrial action. We must be able to sit and discuss issues,” Chiwenga told the doctors.

The students, who were enrolled at the University of Zimbabwe’s Masters of Medicine, Masters of Obstetrics and Gynaecology had earlier on asked government for forgiveness and admitted that their demands were outrageous.