Govt threatens stop paying striking doctors

THE Zimbabwean government has threatened to cease salaries and allowances for striking government health professionals.

In a memo directed to all chief executive officers and provincial medical directors, health and child care secretary Gerald Gwindi said “cessation of salary and allowances for members who proceed on any time of leave without unauthorised leave of absence”.

“Heads of institutions are duly reminded of the provisions of the Public Service Commission circular number 18 of 2000 referenced c/260 which states that heads of offices, heads of departments and heads of ministries are directed to cease salary and allowances for members who absent themselves from duty without authorised leave of absence,” Gwindi said.

“The salary and allowances should be ceased immediately on the 14th day of continuous absence from duty by advising the Salary Service Bureau directly.”

The memo was also copied to the Health Services Board and the paymaster, the Salary Services Bureau.

Zimbabwean doctors downed tools 21 days ago complaining of low on-call, overnight and rural allowances.

The health professionals also accused Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa (pictured) of causing disaffection.

On Monday, the government claimed to have reached an agreement with the health workers.

However, on Tuesday morning, government hospital doctors, through their union, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors, Association, dismissed the claim as propaganda.

Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights executive director Calvin Fambirai described government’s response as “inadequate, slow and insensitive to the implications of the strike on the right to healthcare”.

African News Agency

Gary Murambiwa
the authorGary Murambiwa