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When President Mnangagwa embarked on the austerity path that is about to come to an end since the economy is showing positive signs of recovery, he did not seek to sugar-coat the pain that Zimbabweans had to go through to make the country the Jewel of Africa once more.
Admittedly, he agreed that the path will be harrowing and treacherous and pleaded for patience with all Zimbabweans who are yearning for a positive economic growth and transformation.
He raised a famous quotation that was made by former British Prime Minister, the late Margaret Thatcher, when she said “Yes, the medicine is harsh, but the patient requires it”.
Indeed, there is need for sacrifice from citizens across all sectors and the whole body politic. Patience too is required for the journey will be long and harrowing, but the end will be satisfactory to all and sundry, as it will transform the country into the breadbasket of Africa.
But there is a third hand that has raised its ugly head, and instead of respecting the country’s laws, it is stirring disharmony and discontent within our society, the ultimate goal being to derail progress that is being registered by the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa.
Whereas in the past the enemy used to employ opposition actors and civil rights activists, it has now infiltrated civil servants who are a vital cog in economic recovery and transformation. Teachers, doctors and nurses are being ensnared and entrapped with a few pieces of dirty money to push for regime change through embarking on strikes that will presumably lead to the collapse of Government and result in the deaths of people.
It was plain simple that instead of being a logical strike where grievances were ventilated in the spirit of reaching consensus, there were some elements among our doctors who are pushing narrow and parochial selfish political interests to further their political agendas.
Notably, a leader of the country’s opposition party that consorted for the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe took the opportunity to use the man-made crisis to pose for pictures with the sickly at a local hospital, contravening patients and citizens rights to privacy for his global audience and funders.
Of course, doctors could have genuine concerns and Government has never shied away from engaging them in order to meet their demands and ensure that they are paid in accordance to their rare skills.
Doctors should not use their skills to hold the nation at ransom, they should not pose for cameras and play to the gallery while the nation suffers, after all it is from the taxpayers that most of the doctors are what they are today.
The Government was thus within its rights to crack the whip and in accordance to the law, fire a few miscreants who are smuggling political agendas into purely labour issues.
Maybe the time has come to restrict strikes from health professionals just as is the case with other essential services who cannot embark on strikes in the country for a number of reasons such as the potential harm to the public harmony.
The same ethical question can be applied to the health profession because their withdrawing of labour poses greater harm to the nation that justifies restricting individual rights.
We cannot have a country where people die while doctors are waving placards and marching on the streets for matters that can be resolved with amicability through dialogue.
Zimbabwe is presently going through a difficult phase that has not been helped by illegal economic sanctions imposed on the country by Western nations, and also by unending opposition politicking and grandstanding at a time when focus should be on economic and social development.
We desperately need patriotic Zimbabweans to come to the table and play their part whether in the medical or education field, this is the time to show patriotism.
No one is indispensable, but we are all dependent upon each creating an ecosystem that is vital to economic revival, development and growth towards Vision 2030.
Health professionals swear to heal the sick, but should they negate their duties Government has to act, especially when it is clear that the actions are not informed by genuine grievances, but by political considerations and inclinations.
While I fully appreciate the myriad of challenges that our health professionals are faced with, they should exercise their rights within the precincts of the law.
In any organisation, there are disciplinary measures that can be taken against members who would be going astray, with a disciplinary hearing being one such platform.
The doctors who were recently relived of their duties had the opportunity to present their cases, but chose to play politics, the consequences were thus self inflicted.
Government had to come up with countervailing measures and stop the soft genocide that doctors are committing through blackmail.