Harare, (New Ziana)–Striking doctors on Thursday petitioned the Parliament of Zimbabwe to push the government to ensure the safe return of their union leader, who went missing last weekend, as well as look into the welfare of health workers.
The doctors have downed tools, vowing not to return to work until Dr Peter Magombeyi, the acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), whom they accuse state security agents of abducting, is returned safely.
Magombeyi was leading a strike by the doctors who were demanding a review of their working conditions when he was allegedly abducted.
But government has said its hands were clean, and has activated security agencies to search for the missing doctor.
On Thursday, the doctors marched a distance of about five kilometres from Parirenyetwa Central Hospital to deliver to Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, a petition with two specific demands.
“The government of Zimbabwe is mandated with ensuring the safety of all its citizens. We therefore demand the immediate unconditional and safe return of Dr Peter Magombeyi,” read the first demand in the petition.
“Following his release, a parliamentary enquiry should be commissioned to look into the improvement of both welfare of health professionals and the safety of the work environment.”
ZDHA, on September 3, declared that its members were incapacitated to continue coming to work, demanding a review of allowances as well as capacitation of health institutions through re-equipping and acquisition of the necessary sundries.
As the deadlock persists, the government on Tuesday roped in military doctors to cover the gap until the situation returned to normal.