JUSTICE minister Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday said public hospital doctors, who have gone on strike over salary grievances, will not be treated as if they were more special than other civil servants as government had already offered all its employees a 76% salary hike.
Ziyambi said this in the National Assembly in response to Harare West MP Joanna Mamombe (MDC Alliance), who asked him what government was doing to resolve the health crisis in the country, given the ongoing doctors’ strike.
“Government is committed to the welfare of all government workers, including doctors, but negotiations have been ongoing and an agreement was reached to increase the wages of all government workers,” Ziyambi said.
“What government cannot do at this stage is to treat one sector with preferences and neglect the others.
“Worldwide, strikes are allowed and you cannot have a prescription to foresee events that will happen to then deal with demonstrations and strikes of a particular sector.”
Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya (MDC Alliance) said nurses and doctors had rejected the 76% pay rise.
“Indeed, we deliberated on this issue and the Finance minister (Mthuli Ncube) undertook that by the end of this week, civil servants will get a salary increase to cushion them so that they pay school fees and I believe for some that has already been done,” Ziyambi said.
Mamombe said Ziyambi’s response was not satisfactory as doctors were demanding payment in United States dollars.
“I alluded to the fact that negotiations are on-going,” Ziyambi said.