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Chiwenga's vindictiveness will cripple health sector

GOVERNMENT'S decision to impose stiff measures on doctors intending to leave the country in pursuit of the proverbial greener pastures is quite unfortunate as it seems designed to punish health professionals who have over the past 12 months been playing cat and mouse games with the authorities, demanding better working conditions.

What makes this even sadder is the fact that the health practitioners are being punished for demanding personal protective equipment (PPE), which is well within their rights as frontline workers in the fight against the COVID-19 menace.

Any government in its right mind would be working around the clock to ensure that these key workers access PPE because their health and safety is as important as that of the COVID-19 patients they are seeking to reach out to.

The investment made by specialist health workers in training must be handsomely compensated in order to retain them.

It is no surprise that health workers have been leaving the country in droves over the last few years because we don't seem to value the profession.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy is government's reactionary and combative attitude. Instead of addressing genuine concerns raised by the health workers, government has adopted a "take it or leave it" approach.

Demanding US$200 upfront for a clearance certificate signed by the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe for a doctor seeking to pursue better fortunes outside the country is nothing short of satanic.

These are men and women simply seeking opportunities to better their fortunes and take care of their families. Why should anyone be punished for that?

The doctors will also be required to obtain a "certificate of good standing" signed by three people.

First to sign will be the hospital clinical director, provincial medical director or medical superintendent, followed by the director of curative services in the Health ministry, before the application finally goes to the ministry's permanent secretary for approval, yet another development designed to ensure that the health practitioners continue to wallow in poverty.

Ordering the University of Zimbabwe to immediately stop studies in three key programmes, masters of medicine and masters of obstetrics and gynaecology programmes, is simply a punitive measure that is not going to help anyone. Such policies are retrogressive even to the country's development. They simply confirm the monumental failures of President Emmerson Mnangagwa administration whose stint has been nothing short of disastrous.

We are left to ponder on why a government, whose leaders still have their marbles intact, would fight medical personnel for safety measures including the provision of PPE, adequate nursing staff levels for theatres and wards as well as functional theatres at hospitals to ensure effective public health delivery?

Even by his standards, Chiwenga has shown how low he can be in his vindictiveness. While he thinks his measures are good for the country, it is clear that these are untenable and, therefore, disastrous.

We believe government does not need anymore enemies, but to build its brand going forward. That can only be possible if citizens are happy.

It is unfortunate that some policies appear to have been invented by someone in Mars. Actually, this shows that out there in government, many want Mnangagwa to fail and to fall with a big thud. Why the President doesn't see it we don't know. Who wants an opposition party with the way things are going?

We do hope someone in government will come to their senses sooner than later and relook at these detrimental measures.

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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