Parirenyatwa elbowed out?

BY TICHAONA SIBANDA
HARARE - Health Minister David Parirenyatwa has taken time off work at the height of a crippling strike by doctors and nurses.
President of the Hospitals Doctors Association, Kudakwashe Nyamutukwa, said that in his absence Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi (a doctor by pro

fession) has taken over the role of negotiating with the striking doctors.
Nyamutukwa said contrary to reports carried in the government media last week, the authorities had fired no doctors or nurses. But it is the timing of Parirenyatwa’s decision to take his annual leave that has caused a stir, both in government and among the doctors.
A source said Parirenyatwa has allegedly lost the confidence of his cabinet colleagues to deal with the issue, fuelling reports that Robert Mugabe could have elbowed him off the case following a series of misleading statements from Health authorities.
The strike by at least 145 junior doctors from the country’s major hospitals is now in its fifth week, crippling the health delivery system. The doctors want a near-hundred fold pay increase. They currently earn Z$56,000 (US$224 at the official exchange rate, less than US$20 at the parallel rate). They are demanding a salary of Z$5 million. – SW Radio Africa

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