Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s government has threatened to fire striking doctors demanding better salaries and working conditions, as the industrial action spread and entered its second day on Thursday.
Information obtained by News24 showed that the government through the ministry of health and child welfare was compiling names of doctors who heeded the call to down tools.
Clinical Director at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Noah Madziva dispatched a memo charging that anyone who withdrew their services would be removed from duty register and pay roll.
“The operations directorate will do a roll call at 09:00 every morning and anyone not available at that time will be deemed as not available for service and subject to the above mentioned arrangements (removal from duty rooster and pay),” said Madziva.
But union leaders shrugged off the dismal threats, urging its members to remain focused and take inspiration from the success of day one.
“We have noted with utter disappointment the new tactics by various Clinical Directors at central hospital, that instead of engaging doctors and trying to find solutions to our current demands, they have reverted to threats and victimisation,” the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association said in a statement.
“We inform all our members that a document circulating with threats, is the same document that was used to intimidate people just a few years ago. It is just an ‘Archive’ which represent one of the many tricks used by authorities to test our strength, unity and courage .
Threatening is a sign of fear. A last ditch attempt at resolving a problem without engaging. We will not waiver,” it added.
Union representatives were late on Thursday afternoon still locked in a meeting with ministry officials in an attempt to break the impasse.