Doctors are slated to protest in the capital Harare for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday, September 19, to denounce the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) leader's disappearance on Saturday, September 14, amid an ongoing doctors' strike. The High Court ruled on Thursday that police should not interfere with the march as they have during previous marches. It should therefore proceed peacefully.
As of Thursday, it is unclear if the strike is indefinite, but it is possible that the doctors will not return to their posts until their leader is released. Additional related protests are likely in the coming days, amid a heightened security presence. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
According to the protesters, Peter Magombeyi, president of the ZHDA, was abducted by security forces in an attempt to break the doctors' strike he called, ongoing since early September, to denounce their inability to provide adequate services because of low salaries, a lack of basic health material in state hospitals, and increasing living costs. Doctors held protests in Harare on September 15-18 to demand his release. Disruptions to medical services were reported at several public health institutions across the country. Government officials announced the deployment of medical professionals from the uniformed forces to help tackle the disruptions and insure assistance to patients with critical conditions.
Individuals present in Zimbabwe, including in Harare, are advised to confirm doctor's appointments, to anticipate longer waiting times in medical facilities for the duration of the strike, and to avoid any potential protests.
Copyright and Disclaimer