Zim fires dozens of striking doctors, who earned R1,100 a month

By Fin24 6 November 2019
Doctors and medical staff demonstrate at Harare Hospital demanding the release of Dr Peter Magombeyi, who was allegedly abducted after leading calls for a strike. (Photo supplied)

Zimbabwe has fired 77 medical doctors who were on strike for more than two months after calling for a pay rise.

The doctors earn roughly Z$1200 per month, which at the current exchange rate works out to around R1,100 a month.

The Health Service Board launched a disciplinary hearing at the start of November. Most of the doctors charged didn’t attend, saying that they didn’t have money for the bus fare to the hearing

“Of the 80 doctors charged, 77 were found guilty and discharged,” reads the statement released by Cabinet on Tuesday.

A few weeks into the strike, the doctors rejected a 60% pay rise, saying it is not enough to keep up with soaring prices. In mid-October, the striking doctors defied a court order to return to work, saying a pay rise offered by the government failed to meet everyday costs.

Zimbabwe’s month-on-month inflation for September stood at 17.7% according to official figures – while annual inflation is estimated at 353%. Government no longer publish an annual inflation number, which was at 175.6% at the last count in June.

Prices of basic commodities have continued to skyrocket with fuel prices and electricity tariffs increasing by 12% and 320%, respectively, in October.

Reporting by Crecey Kuyedzwa.


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