LEADER of government business in Parliament Ziyambi Ziyambi claimed Wednesday that only a few doctors and nurses were on strike as he reiterated the administration’s refusal to pay salaries in foreign currency.Public health workers have been on strike since Monday, demanding – among other things – that their salaries should be paid United States dollars.
The job action was brought up in Parliament by legislators who demanded to know what government was doing to end the strike.
Said opposition MP Sipho Mokone; “Minister, on Monday we saw the nurses and doctors downing tools, which means that no one can access healthcare right now in Government hospitals.
“The situation is very bad, especially for the expectant mother because there is no one who is there to assist the woman when she is due to give birth.”
Opposition colleague Murisi Zwizwai interjected asking about the whereabouts of Vice President and health minister Constantino Chiwenga who has not been heard from since the strike started.
Speaker Jacob Mudenda immediately ordered Zwizwai to withdraw the statement to which the MP responded;
“Yes Mr. Speaker Sir, I withdraw the statement that I had stated and queried where the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Chiwenga and his wife are when the country is on fire. I withdraw, Sir.”
Meanwhile Ziyambi denied claims by legislators that the strike had crippled the country’s healthcare sector, saying only a few nurses and doctors had joined the job action.