As the Doctors’ strike entered the second month following the rejection of an offer by government, The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has released a statement supporting the action by the health services workers. The statement also said that the ZCTU is currently mobilising and if government does not listen, it will speak and act louder than before.
The full statement:
The Zimbabwe Congress of trade Unions stands in solidarity with the Health Service Works of Zimbabwe. We genuinely believe that their grievances are genuine and these are the same grievances that citizens have been raising over a long period of time and the government has been ignoring.
We know that our political elite are out of touch with reality because they are easily flown outside and they get efficient treatment in hospitals that are fully equipped and getting essential drugs out there.
We also know that they are treated by well-paid doctors and motivated nursing staff. So they do not care because they are not affected.
We know that the grievances that the doctors are raising can be confirmed by anyone by visiting our hospitals. You will see the decaying infrastructure. You will also see that the hospitals are under equipped and the few equipment that we have is outdated. You will also see patience getting discharged without getting all the processes they must get.
And this is a genuine crisis that the government must address. Instead of scapegoating, instead of propaganda and instead of threats, the government must seek to call all stakeholders on the table, so that we address the crisis together and collectively.
At the congress we don’t believe that the government can address this crisis on its own, because the crisis was created by bad policy making and bad policy implementation. And the same people who created the problem cannot address it effectively. This is why we stand ready to assist the government in addressing the challenge; in proffering alternatives.
Unfortunately the government is not interested in collective efforts towards addressing the national crisis.
We also know that the crisis that the doctors are raising, the grievances that the doctors are raising is a national crisis. All workers are facing similar challenges. All goods and services are now priced in United States Dollars against salaries that are in Bond Notes and RTGS. Workers salaries have been eroded by up to 5 times and many families are facing starvation. Many families are failing to provide adequate housing. Many families are failing to provide adequate clothing and shelter.
We implore the government of Zimbabwe to take this as a national crisis; as a national emergency and seek to address it collectively with other stakeholders.
We have gone around the city today to see how parents are preparing for Back To School. The situation is dire, it is pathetic. The school uniforms are beyond the reach of the majority. Exercise books are beyond the reach of the majority.
We know that in boarding schools, many kids are going to face starvation. Many boarding schools will not be able to adequately provide food at the current prices and other learning utensils.
This is a national crisis beyond any political affiliation. We cannot seek to politicise this crisis because everyone of us is facing the same challenge. Those who supported and those who voted in the current government, the workers who voted in Zanu-PF are earning the same salaries with everyone else. They face the same challenges when they go the hospitals. They lose families in the same manner with those who didn’t support the government. They face the same prices when they enter into the supermarkets. They are also facing starvation and their kids may also not go to school because of the same challenges. So there’s nothing to politicise here.
This is a socio-economic rights issue. This is a national crisis that we must all in our united form, seek to address. We therefore urge the government to quickly address this crisis.
In the meantime, the ZCTU is continuing to mobilise, workers and citizens. We cannot accept another 2008. We can’t lose all our savings. We can’t lose all our pensions. We cannot continue to come to work and earning just sufficient to pay transport. We cannot come to work hungry. We cannot watch our families starving. We cannot watch out families dying because we can’t buy drugs. We can’t walk naked with our families. So the government must address this matter urgently. If they don’t, then we will continue mobilising and speak louder and act louder than we have done before so that we make sure that the government listens and responds to the needs of the citizens.
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