BY VANESSA GONYE
Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA) president Peter Magombeyi has resigned from his position as leader of junior medical practitioners, but vowed to continue the struggle to better conditions for health professionals.
In a letter to the Health ministry as well as the Health Services Board on Sunday, Magombeyi cited personal reasons for his decision to step down amid speculation that he was forced to quit.
“I do not intend to inconvenience you with this news and I hope you will accept my most sincere apologies in making Friday, January 24 2020 my last day as the president of the aforementioned association,” he wrote.
“I know this is unexpected, but I am happy to assist the association in the replacement process to help alleviate the transition.”
Magombeyi said he would remain a part of the struggle by doctors as they seek to get fair working conditions.
“I will never forget the struggle we go through every day, trying to come up with a functional public health delivery system that benefits all Zimbabweans and our welfare as doctors. Aluta continua!,” he said.
Magombeyi hogged the limelight in September last year when he was allegedly abducted and tortured by suspected State security agents before he was dumped in Nyabira.
He was taken to South Africa for further medical attention and has not returned home since then.
His resignation comes at a time the doctors are divided, with a splinter group having been formed late last year, whose majority membership is back at work, leaving the ZHDA to continue with the near five-month-long strike that began in September.
Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike applauded the move by Magombeyi, saying it served as an example to those clinging to power to know when to walk away.
He, however, bemoaned the demise of a united front by doctors as they have now been divided, compromising continued negotiations for a better working environment.
“The only sad thing is that his resignation is coming at a time when the doctors are fragmented and divided by the formation of a splinter doctors’ association that has weakened their negotiating and bargaining power,” Rusike said.