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Various Nations Recruiting Striking Zimbabwe Doctors

Health Minister David Parirenyatwa

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) on Wednesday warned that the country could soon be left with very few experienced health personnel if the government continues to ignore their plight as local doctors and other disgruntled health professionals are currently receiving invitations to join foreign health institutions.

Addressing a news conference in the capital, ZHDA spokesperson, Francis Rwodzi, said hospital doctors will continue with their industrial action until the government meets their demands, which include salary increases and improved working conditions.

Doctors are demanding an upward review of their salaries from $282 to at least $1,200 a month and an increase of on-call allowances from the current 35 cents to at least $10 per hour.

However, the government is refusing to increase the doctors’ salaries saying its coffers are empty.

Rwodzi said most of the local doctors are being offered employment by foreign health institutions – a move he said may leave the country with inexperienced doctors if those being approached accept the foreign jobs.

Rwodzi also accused the government of misplacing its priorities. He said it was sad that traditional leaders in the country are earning much higher than doctors who save lives.

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In other news, the National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe, says it will resist the Harare City Council’s plan to move all vendors from the central business district.

The vendors’ union general secretary, Samuel Wadzayi, said his organization – which he claims has more than 13,000 members, is not happy that vendors will be moved, depriving them of their source of livelihood at a time when the country’s economy is not performing well.

Wadzayi said his union will resist the move if council does not provide alternative and lucrative vending sites.

Studio 7 failed to get a comment from Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni and council spokesperson, Leslie Gwindi. Running battles have become the order of the day in the city between vendors and municipal police who are confiscating their wares.