Full Statement: Zim Govt Suspends Doctors, Radiographers

Harare - The Zimbabwean government through the Health Services Board has taken drastic measures and suspended over 550 medical doctors and radiographers who have been on strike since December 01. 

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who was last week given the task of overseeing the negotiations between the government and the striking medical doctors is known for his combative personality. 

He once ordered all the nurses who were striking to be fired in April this year. 

Chiwenga told the nurses that Government was regarded their strike as a lack of remorse, as politically motivated and as going against the conditions of service. The nurses were later forced to reapply for their jobs.

In a statement before the suspensions, the HSB said:

1. Doctors working in some of our public health institutions, through their association, the Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors Association (ZHDA), abruptly withdrew their labour on the 1st of December 2018. 
Zimbabwean Striking Doctors 

Radiographers in the public health sector also abruptly withdrew their labour on the 6th of December 2018. Other Doctors later joined the industrial action.

2. Before the collective job action was taken there was no formal notice given to Government.

3. The government notes and accepts that workers are entitled to bring up conditions of work matters with their employer but expects that this is done within the existing legal framework.


4. The current withdrawal of labour was done outside any existing legal framework and did not allow for the provisions therein to be exhausted before the withdrawal of labour.

5. Due to this unprocedural action and noting that health is an essential service Government approached the Labour Court on the 20th of December 2018 to resolve the matter.


6. The Labour Court duly set on the 21st, and 22nd of December 2018. After hearing the matter the Court issued a Disposal Order in terms of the provisions of the Labour Act as follows:

(i) the unlawful Collective Job Action engaged by the Respondents and their members on the 1st of December 2018, is terminated forthwith;

(ii) all members of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, Doctors and members of staff who participated in the unlawful job action report for work within 12 hours of service of this order on the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association at Parirenyatwa Doctors Lounge Harare;

(iii) the Health Service Board shall be no under obligation to remunerate members of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, all Doctors and Medical Staff who engaged in the unlawful job action for the time each such member, Doctor or staff has been away from work;

(iv) the Health Service Board is entitled to take disciplinary action against members of the Zimbabwe Hospitals Doctors Association, Doctors and members who participated in the unlawful job action; and (v)respondents bear Applicant’s costs on the ordinary scale.

7. Most or all of the health workers who had withdrawn their labour have not reported for work in the timeframe stipulated in the Disposal Order made by the Labour Court.

8. Government is accordingly proceeding to institute disciplinary action against all health workers who participated in the unlawful collective job action.

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