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Zimbabwe Dismisses 77 Striking Doctors

Zimbabwe Health Services Board Chairman Paulinus Sikosana
Zimbabwe Health Services Board Chairman Paulinus Sikosana

The Zimbabwean government says it has dismissed 77 doctors who went on strike on September 3rd demanding salary increases and improved working conditions.

Health Service Board chairperson Paulinus Sikosana told the state-controlled Herald newspaper that the doctors were found guilty absenteeism.

Sikosana was quoted by the newspaper as saying that their dismissal was done in accordance with Zimbabwe’s labor laws.

He said the striking doctors, who were ordered by the Labor Court to return to work, were charged in terms of Section 4 of the Labor (National Employment Code of Conduct), Regulations, Statutory Instrument 15 of 2006 (the Code).

According to the Herald, Sikosana said, “Seventy seven of the 80 doctors were found guilty of absenting themselves from duty without leave or reasonable cause for days ranging from five or more and discharged from the health service.”

Sikosana could not be reached for further details.

The striking doctors, who have been demanding salary increases and on-call allowances equivalent to the prevailing intermarket bank rates, declined to appear before a disciplinary committee set up by the ministry of health, saying they were too incapacitated to report for work and the hearings.

Representatives of the striking doctors were unavailable for comment as they were said to be holding meetings with members of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association in Harare.