Zim’s health workers down tools over Magombeyi abduction

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE’s Health Apex Council (HAC) has notified government members were withdrawing their services until abducted doctors union leader, Magombeyi was returned safe.

HAC is the highest organ representing six unions across the country.

In a letter dated September 17, 2019 addressed to Health Minister, Obadiah Moyo, HAC said workers across the country were seriously affected by the recent abduction of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association acting president by suspected state security agents on Saturday.

“As a result of such public sentiment, there has been a spontaneous decision by health workers to withdraw their services until Doctor Magombeyi has been returned safely,” said the group.

“HAC therefore acknowledges the position taken by all health workers and support the decision to withdraw labour until he has been returned safely.”

HAC also advised all interested parties on the immediate suspension of meetings at the Health Services Bipartite Negotiating Panel meetings until security to carry out their mandate is guaranteed.

The group’s mandate is to the improve the welfare of health workers in affiliate associations which include Zimbabwe Health Workers Union, Zimbabwe Nurses Association, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, Zimbabwe Pharmacy Technicians Association, Zimbabwe Environmental Health Technicians and Zimbabwe Government Therapists Association.

The group’s decision to withdraw services came just a day after High Court Judge, Edith Mushore ordered people holding Magombeyi to immediately release him or bring him to court within 48 hours.

Home Affairs and State Security Ministers were also ordered to determine his whereabouts and set up a team of investigators to search for him at all places in Zimbabwe.

Magombeyi is said to have last sent a WhatsApp message on Saturday night saying he had been “kidnapped by three men”.

Government, through its various agencies and ministries, has said it was investigating Magombeyi’s disappearance.