First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday met the leadership of striking junior doctors in Harare and urged them to return to work, while the Government was addressing their outstanding grievances.
The doctors had requested to meet the First Lady. The doctors’ representatives expressed a willingness to return to work, but indicated that a final position would be made known after consultations with their constituency (the striking junior doctors).
The First Lady said some of the responses to the doctors’ grievances could be implemented immediately.
Briefing journalists after a two-hour meeting, the First Lady and Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association president Dr Elias Muzoremba said they agreed that the doctors should return to work.
“The objective of the meeting was to enable me to hear their concerns after these young people requested to see me as their mother. They wanted to tell me what they had gone through. They said out there ‘we now have a bad reputation and are labelled as notorious people, but we are not like that,” she said.
The First Lady said some of the doctors’ grievances were resolvable.
“They briefed me about their problems. Some of them can be solved, others require more time. What pleased me is that they told me that they are now going back to work now that they have met me as their mother.
“Some of their grievances can be solved, but others will take long because our economy is not yet performing well. We agreed that we should work for the Zimbabwe that we want. They are very positive.
“I thanked these children because they came to me as their mother and this happens in every home whenever there is a problem,” said the First Lady.
She said the doctors pledged to return to work as the Government sought a lasting solution to their concerns.
“They told me that even though they were still going through difficult times, they will be going back to work. I am now taking up their grievances to the relevant authorities to submit their grievances. My appeal is to have those grievances that can immediately be addressed to be implemented.”
Dr Muzoremba was excited to meet the First Lady.
“I want to thank our mother for the meeting. She listened to our concerns. We want to thank her for her time with us. She sacrificed her time to hear our concerns. We understand she was supposed to be in Bulawayo. She has indicated that she will represent us and she appealed to us to go back to work while our concerns are looked at. We agreed with her but we said there are things that could be implemented immediately to enable us to go back to work while others could be pursued in the long term. So we are going to give feedback to our members. We are convening a meeting at Parirenyatwa (Hospital) to inform our members what has transpired,” said Dr Muzoremba.
ZHDA later released a statement confirming it was meeting today.
“Government encouraged all doctors to go back to work and asked the leaders to go and convey the message to the members.
“A bipartite meeting is due tommorow (Saturday) for the said deals (agreed in yesterday’s meeting) to be signed with timelines, of course if agreeable,” said the statement.