HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwean winning doctors said on Wednesday that they were threatened with death and suspected state security agents were pressing them after the police stopped their second march departing from their union leader.
Riotism stands before healthcare workers hit protest against the abolition of Peter Magombeyi, their union leader, outside of Harare's hospital, Zimbabwe, September 18, 2019. REUTERS / Philimon Bulawayo
Peter Magombeyi, president of Zimbabwe's Association of Hospital Doctors (ZHDA) and one organizer of a continuing strike went on to demand higher pay for state doctors due to higher living costs, on Saturday night.
ZHDA represents junior and middle-level doctors in public hospitals.
“As health professionals we are threatened by security features. Nurses and doctors are regularly told that they will die if the government stands for them, ”according to a doctor's petition to parliament.
“Sound messages and text provide evidence of the threats,” said the petition without giving more details.
The police said they could not comment immediately.
Edric Nhema, general secretary of the country's nurses union told the country was part of the salary negotiation team with Magombeyi, for doctors in Parirenyatwa Hospital before the march that he received death threats from unknown people.
State Security Minister Owen Ncube said in a statement that the government was treating Magombeyi's case as a departure and not a kidnapping as the doctor's colleagues alleged it.
He said that the timing of Magombeyi, ahead of the UN annual meeting next week and a special human rights rapporteur in Zimbabwe, was working with a “third force” which meant that the country's image would be used.
Many of the riot police blocked over 200 doctors on Wednesday when they went to parliament to present their petition singing “no Peter, no work”.
Two years after President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the army conspired to achieve the long-term ruler Robert Mugabe, people are suffering from three-digit inflation which has reduced salaries and basic goods shortages such as fuel and electricity.
Human rights groups say that since January they recorded more than 20 cases of activation procedures by state security agents. The government denies any involvement.
Churches under Zimbabwe's Designated Christian Designate (ZHOCD) groups stated that no trapped person had reported many abduction cases.
“This placed the security of citizens at the highest level of vulnerability,” said ZHOCD in a statement, stating that Mnangagwa should publicly criticize criticism and torture of civilians.
Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Edited by David Gregorio
(tagsToTranslate) US (t) ZIMBABWE (t) HEALTH CARE (t) Health / Medicine (t) Wage Workers (t) Diplomacy / Foreign Policy (t) Labor / Personnel (t) Government / Politics (t) International / National Security (t) Africa (t) Emerging Market Countries (t) Civil Unrest (t) Zimbabwe