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Health Minister: Zimbabwe Treasury is 'Broke'

Harare - Health minister, Obadiah Moyo has said the Zimbabwe government, which has been hyping about a huge surplus, is reportedly broke an...

Harare - Health minister, Obadiah Moyo has said the Zimbabwe government, which has been hyping about a huge surplus, is reportedly broke and has been forced to fire 286 doctors because it cannot afford to pay them United States dollar salaries. 

Speaking at a post-Cabinet briefing yesterday,  a day before the finance mister presents the national budget, Moyo said through the Finance ministry, government had tried to show the striking doctors that their pockets were empty.

“The issue of dialoguing never stopped. As a ministry, we have been talking to the junior doctors.
We have been talking to the senior doctors. The other time, I had junior doctors who came to my office. 

“We made each other see the reality that there is no money. We even invited personnel from the Ministry of Finance who explained to them in detail and they were left without any doubt that there was no money in government coffers,” Moyo said.

This comes after government announced that it had fired 286 doctors, with 95 others who are yet to appear before the Health Services Board still facing the guillotine.
Zimbabwe Finance Minister will Present the Budget in Harare 

“A total of 322 disciplinary cases have so far been heard and the 286 doctors who were found guilty have been discharged. A further 93 doctors from central hospitals and 55 from provincial hospitals will have their disciplinary hearings concluded by November 15 and 22, 2019, respectively. 

“Government is still committed to dialogue,” a government brief on the bloodbath in the health sector read. Moyo said there was no going back in dealing with government workers refusing to report for duty. 

The revelations tally with former finance minister Tendai Biti, who said the same in April 2019.

“Here is the challenge: The central bank itself is broke, undercapitalised. So, the money that the government has actually been taking from the central bank does not belong to the central bank, it belongs to you and me.

“That is why you woke up one morning and went to your bank, whether it is Steward Bank (as an example), FBC, Standard Chartered Bank or First Capital Bank and your bank told you that there was no money."

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said government was also seized with reports that Harare City Council nurses had also downed tools and there was also a drive to get them fired. 

“The situation at the municipal clinics remains constrained, as only 35 out of the expected 104 nurses turned up for duty at the five polyclinics and one hospital,” she said.

“The nurses withdrew their labour over delayed salary payments and are refusing to resume duty even after receiving their salaries. The action by the nurses is illegal, and the employer has been advised to commence disciplinary processes on the striking nurses, in line with the country’s laws. 

“As such, therefore, only those nurses reporting for duty will be paid while their conditions of service are being looked into.” - NewsDay

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