THE Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) has slammed the Zanu PF government’s insensitiveness in handling the doctors’ strike, saying instead it was concentrating on infighting at the expense of dying patients.
The union called on Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa to resign, saying he had failed to run the ministry. ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said the union was worried by the government’s reluctance in honouring its promises of reviewing doctor’s salaries.
He said it was “ridiculous for the government to think that doctors would resume work on the back of empty promises”.
“ZCTU is greatly disturbed by the apparent impasse in the labour dispute between the government and striking doctors that is causing untold suffering to ordinary Zimbabweans, as the strike has paralysed operations at state run hospitals,” he said.
“We note with concern that for a long time the government has been promising doctors that it will improve their conditions of service, but nothing has been done.
“While the tug of war is going on, millions of people are not getting medical services at State hospitals and there is no doubt that bodies of the dead are piling up in mortuaries, deaths that could have been avoided if the country had a sensitive government.”
Doctors have been on strike for past three weeks demanding an upward review of their salaries from $282 to $1 200 per month excluding allowances.
They are also demanding free accommodation at government-owned flats and duty-free car imports. Their request to have a meeting with President Mugabe has been turned down.
Moyo said a vast majority of workers were earning below the poverty datum line and could access private health facilities.
“What is more disturbing is the slow action in addressing the concerns of doctors,” he said.
“This is so because the Zanu PF government is busy involved in party factional feuds at the expense of serving the nation.
“It is quite evident, under this scenario, that the over-recycled Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa has failed to run the ministry and should be man enough to accept failure and resign.”