The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has castigated government for lacking seriousness in dealing with the doctors strike now in its third month.
This follows the failure by the government to resolve the salary impasse with striking doctors, a situation which has forced public health institutions across the country to close doors.
The strike, in its third month, has seen doctors’ demands going unaddressed while more than 450 medical practitioners have since been relieved of their duties for disobeying a government directive to report for duty.
Ahead of the 2019 International Human Rights Day commemorations, ZADHR said the situation playing out in the country shows lack of seriousness on the government’s part to address one of its key mandates.
“The closure of and or scaling down of services at health facilities inhibits access to medical care to the majority poor Zimbabweans including women and children who are amongst the vulnerable consumers of health services and goods.
“The failure to resolve the incapacitation of medical doctors by the government signify a failure on the state’s obligations to respect, protect and to fulfill the right to health. We, therefore, urge the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health to raise alarm on the dire human rights situation in Zimbabwe.
“As ZADHR we take this day as a call to action for the citizens and the government to work towards a Zimbabwe where human rights are protected and promoted,” said the association in a statement.
The year 2019 has been an extremely difficult period for the observance of human rights in Zimbabwe.
In January 2019, dozens of Zimbabweans were killed in state-orchestrated violence while hundreds were victims of gunshots, intimidation and torture in the hands of the state.
The year has also seen a clampdown on the freedom and human rights to assemble, associate and peacefully demonstrate, particularly the opposition members and civil society organisations who have often been beaten or arrested for airing out their displeasure at the government.
This is despite continued rhetorics by the government to open up democratic spaces for all
The day allows people from all over the world to take stock of gains made and missed opportunities in the protection, promotion and fulfillment of human rights. ZADHR takes this opportunity to highlight some of the key human rights issues that dominated the Zimbabwean landscape in 2019.
ZADHR said it is worried by the number of people being injured during demonstrations.
“…has been extensively faced with a growing number of patients who were injured as they were peacefully exercising their constitutionally provided rights to assembly and association,” read the statement.