HARARE – The stand-off between medical doctors and medical aid societies has caught the attention of President Robert Mugabe and that is good.
But there is no need to pop the champagne bottles yet, if anything we need to cringe at the way Mugabe reacted to the impasse.
Instead of tackling the mess, itself a product of his government’s ineptitude and inability to turn around the country’s economy, Mugabe rubs salt on injury by saying doctors should work without pay.
Doesn’t he receive his salary on a monthly basis even though there is nothing to show that he deserves the money because he is taking us nowhere.
Yet the doctors, who put up long hours succouring the poor, have to put people’s interest first.
How ironic considering that the gibbering 92-year-old fellow prefers to fly to faraway foreign lands whenever sick.
That apart from being a vote of no confidence in our doctors is also a sign from the highest office that our hospitals are not good enough.
Perhaps that Mugabe, whose daughter Bona recently delivered a baby in Dubai, assumes high moral ground to chastise our local medical practitioners shows beyond any reasonable doubt that the old man is no longer appreciative of the conditions on the ground.
People work to earn a living and doctors are not aliens, they have families to feed and bills to pay.
Unlike Mugabe, they do not have freebies, they must queue at filling stations something that the former teacher has most certainly forgotten by now.
Mugabe should show some little respect for these men and women who have braved the current economic challenges spawned by his 36-year-old rule.
Instead of fleeing to foreign lands, the doctors have stayed put and what we pray for is that they stay and help the sick no matter how difficult the circumstances are. Zimbabweans need them.
The issue of sanctions no longer sails, it is an old tale that even the fanatical Zanu PF supporters now publicly doubt and doctors, erudite as they are, know it too.
What we need, Mr President, is for doctors to be paid on time and not sanctions rhetoric, what we need Mr President are deliverables to justify why you receive a salary on a monthly basis?
You probably don’t deserve a salary considering the way you have rundown the country but doctors do if we are to consider the work they do.