Knives out for Murwira

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MUGOVE TAFIRENYIKA

Senior Writer

tafirenyikam@dailynewsonsunday.co.zw

DOCTORS have implored President Emmerson Mnangagwa to replace acting Health minister Amon Murwira whom they accuse of being arrogant.

Murwira was appointed to stand in for the then Health minister Obadiah Moyo who has since been fired by Mnangagwa for inappropriate conduct relating to the murky award of US$60 million worth of tenders to Drax International for the supply of Covid-19 materials.

Senior Hospital Doctors Association secretary-general Arron Musara told the Daily News on Sunday that they were not prepared to continue working with Murwira, who is the substantive Higher and Tertiary Education minister.

“We hope the president will appoint a new substantive Health minister as soon as possible because there is chaos in the ministry at the moment. We have difficulties working with the acting minister because to us he appears arrogant. He claims to know everything and we have issues with him regarding his desire to put us under his ministry. He wants to make us his subjects and we are opposed to that,” Musara said.

This comes as the government is planning to transfer junior doctors from the Health ministry to the Higher and Tertiary Education ministry.

The senior doctors said the situation at the ministry of Health had been worsened by the fact that it was also under an acting permanent secretary, Gibson Mhlanga.

“To make matters worse, we have an acting permanent secretary whose power is limited. We also have a deputy minister (John Mangwiro) who does not have power to make decisions given the way our government operates. Not surprisingly, our engagements with the ministry, especially regarding our recommendations regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, have not been acted on,” Musara said.

Contacted for a comment, Murwira, however, insisted that he enjoyed a cordial relationship with all health stakeholders, including the senior doctors.

“I have no conflict with the senior doctors or anyone in the health sector for that matter. All that is needed is dialogue and working together harmoniously without creating animosity where it does not exist.  They must realise that a country is run by systems not individuals. To me that is the key point. Individuals are free to have their opinions because that is the essence of democracy, but that does not make what they say a reality,” Murwira said.

The minister appealed to the senior doctors to stick to their mandate and stop promoting hate in the ministry of Health.

“Their language is that of conflict, but my point is that we have to work as a team, if we fail to do that we perish. They must not involve themselves in the governance of the ministry. They must concentrate on their core business. To me, there is no separation between the ministry of Health and Higher Education because when the junior doctors finish their time at hospitals after graduation, they come back to Higher Education and we certify them to go back and work full time,” said Murwira.

Murwira is a professor in Aerospace Earth Observation, Satellite remote sensing, Geographic Information Science and Global Satellite Navigation Systems (GNSS), Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Drone Technology) Applications and Geospatial Intelligence.

He also holds a PhD in geoformation science and satellite earth observation from Wageningen University & International Institute for Geoformation Science and Earth Observation (ITC) in the Netherlands.

Mnangagwa is reportedly making consultations over the  replacement for Moyo who became the second minister to be arrested and later fired by the president since his ascension to power through a military coup in November 2017 — following that of former Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira late last year.

 

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