Doctors countrywide through their representative board , the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) will tomorrow morning file an urgent chamber High Court application to challenge the decision by the Ministry of Health and Child Care to deduct an alarming total of $529,36 from the salaries of all doctors who are accused of participating in a legal industrial action. The ZHDA through its lawyers as represented by Mr Emmanuel Samundombe will challenge the illegal salary deductions as they have been done outside the confines of the law, have not been done procedurally as per the requirements of our current labour laws and are also an infringement of the right to industrial action as stipulated in section 65 and 76 of the new constitution of Zimbabwe. The application will immediately seek to bar the paymaster from effecting the intended salary deductions before the next revised salary date. This decision has been made after an urgent meeting held between the ZHDA leadership and their legal practitioners this afternoon. In a document availed to doctors at Parirenyatwa hospital since morning today the Public Service Commission as directed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, doctors will have their salaries for December and January deducted by an average of $264,48 each month to a whooping total of $529,36. This evil move is intended to be implemented against the backdrop of doctors earning around $283 as basic salary and some meager allowances. The ZHDA is shocked that within the top echelons of the Ministry of Health and Child Care they are individuals who continue to habour nefarious, retrogressive and dangerous intentions to set doctors into engaging into a collision course with the government, their patients and even their morality. This is evidenced by the recent utterances made by Dr Paul Chimedza in the private media recently where he described doctors as drunkards and chain smokers. The ZHDA maintains its position that it will not fall into the trap being set by Dr Paul Chimedza and his inner cabal meant to anger, incite and frustrate young doctors who are currently playing a pivotal role in the provision of health care to all government hospitals in Zimbabwe, into a rebellious lot who daily strike against government ineffectiveness and mediocre decision making.
The ZHDA and its members will never be intimidated or unnecessarily be coerced by the deputy Minister’s remarks and of course his recent docking of salaries so that it loses track of what the government is set to deliver beginning January 2015, a clear sabotage of ZIMASSET. This gross negligence being exhibited by the Ministry of Health and Child Care has never been witnessed since independent Zimbabwe. It is shocking that a Ministry led by seemingly learned officials illegally decides to punish its employees even without subjecting them to a hearing or any formal charge and conviction. The ZHDA will relentlessly fight this injustice and insanity as it falls short of the existing legal statutes that govern the relationship between employees and their employers. Meanwhile our members will deliberate today on whether or not they will afford to come to work, or if they come to work at what level of effort will they be dispensing their responsibilities. It is very clear that from this provocation passive resistance which protects our members from the venom of the embattled deputy Minister and his cabal will be instituted. This shall greatly compromise the quality of health services to innocent patients, and our hardworking tax payers. Finally we urgently call upon the portfolio committee on health, the cabinet and the acting President to immediately rein in on the Ministry of Health so as to stop this unprecedented onslaught on the moral and finances of doctors in Zimbabwe. This definitely will open flood gates of lawsuits by doctors individually, as an association or by different interest groups.