Zimbabwe’s information secretary has torched a Twitter storm following his claims insinuating that some doctors in Zimbabwe are using COVID-19 to kill certain hospitalized political players.
Responding to a tweet by a person that has since deleted his Twitter account, who claimed that there are some doctors said to be killing some political players, Mangwana noted that people are talking about such issues.
“This is what’s leading to the unfortunate conspiracy theory that there are certain political players being eliminated in hospitals by political activists hiding behind medical qualifications. In fact not just political players but medical assassins.”
He was immediately rebuked by large numbers of people, including Dr. Noah Lameck, who said, “Nick that’s a serious allegation, hope you have evidence to this matter. Unlike your fellow comrades we don’t kill people, we save lives regardless of any background. After all the risks we are taking this is all what you are thinking. Very disappointed.”
Mangwana shot back saying, “Not every doctor is a killer but killer doctors are not a strange phenomenon. I can give you a very long list in history which include serial killers and mass murderers. Don’t take it personally, if this boot doesn’t fit don’t wear it.”
Some Twitter followers urged the police to arrest Mangwana for peddling what they called falsehoods. Mangwana was unavailable for comment as he did not respond to text messages on WhatApp and calls made to his mobile phone.
Disturbed by Mangwana’s tweet, the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) expressed dismay over the issue, noting that there were no professional assassins in the doctors’ ranks in Zimbabwe.
In a statement, the ZADHR said it was concerned about the escalating tensions in the health sector.
“Of key concern are the branding of certain medical professionals as ‘medical assassins’ by a senior government official, threats of arrests, and deregistration of medical practitioners who are alleged to have communicated unethical statements on social media.
“ZADHR strongly advises against continuous persecution of health care professionals. Cases of alleged medical misconduct, if any, must always be handled by the appropriate medical regulatory bodies. Across the globe, self-regulation of medical practitioners has been adopted as the standard approach for ensuring adherence to the highest standards of ethical practice in the medical sector.”
The ZADHR said the continuous persecution of medical practitioners is likely to destabilize the health sector at a time the government is struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Government must be seen to be applauding the positive role being played by frontline health workers who are working tirelessly to provide essential services during this pandemic, risking their lives to save Zimbabweans in the process. The COVID-19 crisis requires close collaboration between government, health workers and all citizens.”