Zimbabwe: Doctors’ Strike – Just Fire the Whole Lot, Problem Solved!
Government officials this week came up with a solution they thought would finally put an end to the doctors’ strike, which has needlessly dragged on forever.
Some genius discovered that you cannot have a doctors’ strike if you do not have any doctors at all. That is some genius plan. In other words, once you fire doctors, there will no longer be a doctors’ strike, simply because there will be no doctors to go on strike.
At a press conference following Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Health minister Obadiah Moyo, still posing as a real doctor, declared: “For now, the situation is that there are no doctors coming to work except for those whom we are grateful for, who are providing emergency cover. So that’s the situation.”
No doubt, this will be a precedent for all other departments. Once teachers start striking too much, we will simply fire the whole lot. Without teachers, there will be no teachers’ strike.
We urge all other nations in the region to take a leaf from our cunning management of the country. We are world-beaters in finding simple solutions to what seem like complex matters. Why pay workers when you can simply fire them and save money for other useful stuff, like private jets and big cars?
Speaking of putting money to good use, Muckraker would like to congratulate our (dis)honourable Members of Parliament for leading the way.
It was reported that the 350 MPs spent a good five days in the adventure capital of Victoria Falls for a pre-budget seminar. Asked why MPs had to go all the way to the prime tourist resort for such meetings, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube suggested that, this way our MPs would focus and not be distracted.
The MDC, a party that sells itself as the alternative government, came out defending its attendance. In a statement headlined Our MPs are true representatives of the people, the MDC declared: “We have stood tall on the side of the people who want us at every step to raise the issue of Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa’s illegitimacy, which has cost us our allowances for several months, putting paid to the false narrative that we are lured by cheap trinkets and luxury.”
It must come as a shock to the nation to hear that the MDC MPs are not lured by luxury. This is especially because they too cheered when they were informed that government is spending a whopping US$16 million on cars for MPs and ministers.
“We have agreed with a supplier that we are going to provide a letter of credit for the purchase of your vehicles. We have already spoken to the bank and that supplier and we have agreed that they be delivered at one time,” Reserve Bank boss John Mangudya said, to wild applause.
We wait for news of just one “people’s representative” turning down a car. The scent of new car leather is a drug to the average African politician.
Just when over half the country is going hungry, according to the United Nations, the people’s representatives were eating on the people’s behalf in a sparkling tourist resort in Victoria Falls.
Muckraker has no idea why people are angry about this. What would become of the country’s international image if our leaders were to also die of hunger? Imagine headlines screaming Hunger is so bad in Zimbabwe even politicians are dying. How would we hide from such international shame?
What country would we be if we lost our politicians to drought? We all know politicians must be the last people to go hungry. They are the guardians of the country.
Our leaders must look fat and healthy. We cannot have skinny politicians showing up at world events. What would other countries think of us? It would be embarrassing.
The theme for the pre-budget seminar was “Prudent deployment of resources”. We were happy to hear that our MPs also deployed their resources prudently among some of the local talent, in more ways than one.
When you scrutinise what happened in Victoria Falls and you also consider what happens at such big events as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, you begin to realise that the concept of “sex tourism” is not as alien to Zimbabwean society as our leaders would have us believe. These hypocrites are even quick to demand the removal of the word “sex” from the sex education curriculum. Who is fooling who?
But we should be patriotic in our assessment of the Victoria Falls jamboree. This is what we would like to see; our leaders spreading taxpayer dollars. Such generosity must be applauded in these times of drought and austerity.
Meanwhile, in order to stop inflation, the government has come up with a new, refreshing plan. They are proposing that wages be frozen. This was announced by cabinet on Tuesday.
“In addition government was also putting measures to contain loss of the workers’ purchasing power and requested the Apex Council to provide three nominees to attend a Tripartite Negotiating Forum technical committee workshop in Kadoma from November 10 to 15.
The workshop is aimed at coming up with a social contract that is aimed at bringing the social partners to a common position. This may result in the freeze of incomes and prices,” the cabinet statement said.
In simple terms, a worker currently spending ZW$1 200 per month on transport per month, but earning ZW$800, must have their salary frozen for a while. That way, we are told, things will not get worse.
Who are the adjudicators of the Nobel Prize for Economics? Our government surely deserves a nomination.
Muckraker was quite entertained this week as the Ministry of Information tried to weasel its way out of a disastrous tweet mocking striking doctors.
“On 2/11/19 this Twitter handle was maliciously compromised and an inappropriate message was posted on it. On being alerted to this, we deleted the message, changed our security information. We apologise to any person or group of persons offended or disrespected by the message,” the Ministry tweeted.
The only shocking thing was that the Ministry thought it necessary to apologise for a tweet insulting citizens for exercising their right to strike. When did that become an issue in government? Have not citizens been called anything from “Satan” to “sellouts”?
Whoever wrote that stray tweet is in that position because they think that way. Having contempt for citizens is a requirement to serve in those offices. Anyone who remotely shows a streak of being a normal human being, a person with basic decency or compassion, cannot possibly ever find a job there.
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