ED pleads with health workers
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday pleaded with health workers to end their strike, warning that the nation could perish from Covid-19 if their action continues, the Daily News reports.
This comes as senior doctors in public hospitals joined nurses in downing their tools on Thursday, over the government’s failure to address their grievances — including poor remuneration and lack of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) in the wake of the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at the burial of former Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri at the National Heroes Acre in Harare yesterday, Mnangagwa implored health workers to go back to work for the nation to be able to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shiri succumbed to the disease on Wednesday.
“We must stop the scourge of Covid-19, a global pandemic. It spares no one, great or small. All nations of the world are suffering from its impact, with figures of deaths and infections rising daily.
“In unity and through discipline, we stand a chance to save our nation from the impact of its menace. I call on our medical staff to act in the national interest and exhibit a great sense of responsibility.
“My government hears your cries, listens to your concerns. But the time to serve is now. Your grievances, which we acknowledge and continue to address cannot be enjoyed at the expense of the loss of lives,” Mnangagwa said.
“When the pandemic spreads and the death toll rises there are no winners, none at all. Tinopera tese kufa (we will all die).
“I, therefore, urge all of us to continue to act with care to prevent the spread of the deadly pandemic. Let us stay at home, wear masks in public and practise social distancing and good hygiene,” he added.
This comes as more than 323 health workers have contracted Covid-19 since the beginning of the disease’s outbreak in the country in March.
Recently, the secretary-general of the Senior Hospital Doctors Association (SHDA), Aaron Musara, said the government did not appear serious about resolving the challenges facing doctors.
“We gave the government a two-week strike notice indicating the challenges that we are facing as doctors and nothing was done to address these challenges.
“It’s sad that things have turned out this way because nothing much is happening in hospitals given that nurses and other health workers have been on strike for over a month. The situation has worsened,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa also appealed for peace among Zimbabweans yesterday, saying the nation must remain united to achieve development.
“Let us draw lessons from the illustrious life of our late national hero … Shiri. We need peace, perfect peace for national development.
“Let us shun strife, violence and disunity. Proponents of such divisive and ruinous acts must be rejected and exposed. In war and conflict, people die and suffer. In peace and in unity, nations and people prosper.
“Both from our history, and from the numerous examples of contemporary African experiences, we must, as Zimbabweans, continue on the path of peace, building peace, entrenching peace, choosing peace and national unity over war, divisions and instability.
“That is the Zimbabwe we seek to build, the heritage we commit ourselves to bequeath to those that come after us. A nation on the march, free of corruption, and such malfeasances,” Mnangagwa said.