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Health Services Bill: Tell Chiwenga he is now a civil servant leader not a military leader

Health Services Bill: Tell Chiwenga he is now a civil servant leader not a military leader

Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya says Vice President Constantino Chiwenga should be reminded not to bring his militaristic nature to the civilian space.

According to Chikwinya, Chiwenga who doubles as Minister of Health and Child Care should not be allowed command health workers as if they are in the military.

The Mbizo legislator argued that the Health Services Amendment Bill has been militarised by Vice President Chiwenga.

Speaking in the National Assembly, he said Chiwenga said one can easily hear the militarism of the minister in the Bill.

‘’The Bill promotes discrimination. As I was seated and listening to the presenter on behalf of the Committee, you can hear the militants in this Bill.

‘’You can hear the militarism of the Honourable Minister coming out now in a civil service space. He is trying to exercise his natural militaristic experience which he had in the army, trying to bring it to a civil space – it cannot be.

‘’Someone must be able to advise the Honourable Minister that he is now a civil servant leader and not a military leader. He used to be, and we respect him so much with whatever he did as a military leader, but he cannot bring military dictates to a civil space.

‘’You cannot order nurses and doctors not to go on strike. They are workers and they must be able to express themselves.

‘’You cannot order nurses and doctors not to be able to join a trade union. They are not soldiers; they are not a disciplined force who takes command. They are not a commandant element.

‘’ You cannot order nurses and doctors not to be able to bargain for their salaries because they are not a military commandant,’’ he said.

He said if the Parliament is for the people, then it must listen to the concerns that were raised during the public consultations of the Bill.

‘’I was saying if we are to call ourselves a Parliament of the people, we must be able to listen to the people and this report strictly takes us to that provision of Section 141 of the

Constitution with respect to public consultations when we are trying to come up with a particular law.

‘’Instead of calling for muscling of the space under which the workers can talk about their issues, we are removing that particular space. This Bill is removing that particular space. We must actually create a condition of dialogue.

‘’I want to believe that and I also want to believe that in your personal capacity, you have attended a funeral for nurses or doctors; they are always reciting this poem which they actually say that it is a calling.

‘’Those people are not there to make money as a pre-condition. They are answering to a call. Not all of us can be doctors and not all of us can be nurses because that job is not an easy job but when they are calling for conditions of service, that make them feed their families and children, you pull away the rug under their feet to say just work and shut up. You are simply providing for conditions of a soft genocide.

‘’Your relatives, my relatives are going to die with no one caring for them in hospitals because we have taken away the right for the people who are supposed to take care of them to speak. Let us create conditions for them to speak out and let us hear them. Where they are saying we have no bread, let us say we have got half a loaf of bread, can you please take it whilst we are working on something? We have no cooking oil and you tell them we have got half a litre, can you please take it whilst we are looking for something else rather than tell them to keep quiet forever as if they are working in a mortuary, that is not fair.

‘’So, I would again agree with the report of the committee to say further consultations must be done. In fact, this Bill is wrongly placed at a time whereby we are promoting dialogue as a nation.

‘’We must be speaking to each other with regards to whatever issues which are affecting us, whether socially, politically or economically and we are trying to bring in a Bill that muscles that particular space. In view of this, the Bill must actually be struck off as a matter of urgency.

‘’Lastly, I support the fact that we do not need a commission. We simply need to empower the board to be responsive to the issues of the health professionals, to bring in a Commission, and to me, it is trying to simply sneak in these exuberant powers which are trying to suppress the rights of the workers through another name.

‘’Let us take the issues as they are from the health professionals. Let us look at the powers of the board as is currently constituted and we see if it cannot deal with them. You are going to find that it is able to deal with them decisively, what we have simply done is to fail to give them resources.

‘’We must be a nation that is shy among other nations. How come we are the only nation where a certificate of first aid is a passport for someone to go to the UK? A certificate which is obtainable in two weeks is more valuable than a PhD in Zimbabwe. People with PhDs are failing to find their way outside the country but a person with a certificate of first aid from St John’s is finding their way out of Zimbabwe. Let us create conditions which are conducive for our medical professionals for them to remain in Zimbabwe.

‘’If we are going to pass this law, we have simply put the final nail on the coffin, we no longer have any health profession to talk about. We must be able to listen to them responsively as a listening government like what you purport in your rallies. Listen to them and respond to what they are saying.

‘’Therefore, I move that this Bill as for the recommendation of the Committee, guided by the input of the citizens who were consulted throughout the whole country, this Bill must be struck of as a matter of urgency,’’ he said.

Health Services Bill: Tell Chiwenga he is now a civil servant leader not a military leader

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