Categories: Zim Latest

Doctors strike declared illegal days after Govt deployed Chiwenga

Few days after General Constantino Chiwenga took over negotiations between government and striking doctors, junior surgeons have been told they should resume duty immediately after the Labour Court last night ruled that their industrial action is illegal as it contravened provisions of the Labour Act.

Justices Betty Chidziva and Gladys Mhuri ruled that the doctors did not follow the notification procedures prescribed by the law.

“The findings of the court, in terms of Section 107 of the Labour Act, are as follows: Having listened to both parties’ submissions, the court found that the collective job action embarked on by the respondents (Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association) and its members on the 1st of December 2018 is unlawful,” reads the ruling.

“This finding is based on the fact that the respondents in the critical services category, as provided for by the provisions of SI (statutory instrument) 137 of 2003, are prohibited from engaging in collective job action.

“Respondents even, through their witness Dr Muzoremba, failed to prove that they were exposed to any occupational hazard which they reasonably feared to pose an immediate threat to their health and safety.”

The court ruled that no evidence was presented to substantiate the claim that the doctors embarked on the job action to avert an immediate threat to their health and safety.

“All members of the Zimbabwe Doctors Association, doctors and members of staff who participated in the unlawful job action should report for work within 12 hours of service of this order on the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association at Parirenyatwa Doctors’ Lounge, Harare.”

The court ordered the Health Services Board (HSB) to dock salaries of all doctors and medical staff for the number of days they did not report for duty.

“The Health Service Board is entitled to take disciplinary action against members of the Zimbabwe Hospital Association, doctors and members who participated in the unlawful job action and also that the respondents are to bear application costs on the ordinary scale.”

Mr Farai Chingwere from the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office represented the HSB, while Mr Munyaradzi Gwisai stood for the ZHDA.

Mr Gwisai refused to comment.

This effectively puts an end to the 22-day job action.

sunday mail

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