Outcry as Zimbabwe’s VP accuses striking doctors of not being doctors

Constantino Chiwenga says the striking doctors haven’t finished medical school yet and were still on internship.

FILE: Zimbabwe’s acting president, Constantino Chiwenga. Picture: AFP.

HARARE - There has been an outcry after Zimbabwe’s acting president, Constantino Chiwenga, accused striking doctors of not being doctors because they haven’t completed their training.

Junior doctors have been on strike for nearly a month, crippling state-run hospitals throughout the country, and senior colleagues have joined in.

The doctors’ strike entered its 28th day on Friday, 28 December, and shows no sign of ending.

The vice-president, who’s acting president, says the striking doctors haven’t finished medical school yet and were still on internship.

He says, as such, they can’t be called junior doctors, adding that rules regulating internships will be changed to prevent further strikes.

The Hospital Doctors Association has hit back, saying junior doctors who have led the December strike are fully qualified medical graduates.

It says constitutional amendments to prevent further strikes would allow the health minister to sleep on the job as the health sector crumbles.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)