Health workers have vowed to proceed with their job boycott despite the recent plea by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for them to return to work.

This is amid revelations that scores of people could be dying due to lack of medical care.

In an interview with a local publication, Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights secretary-general, Norman Matara urged government to first pay health workers a living wage, provide adequate PPEs and equip hospitals with medicines and equipment to end the industrial action.

“The government should simply meet its end of the bargain, pay health workers a living wage, provide them with adequate personal protective equipment, and equip hospitals with medicines and equipment.

“If they do this simple task, health workers will happily return to work and do their job of saving lives. The government wants health workers to act in the nation’s interest and exhibit a sense of responsibility, yet the same government is not meeting its end of responsibilities,” said Matara.

“Health workers cannot work on empty stomachs and without protective clothing simply because they save lives,” added Matara

Enock Dongo, the Zimbabwe Nurses Association reiterated Matara’s sentiments, calling on government to address health workers’ grievances for them to return to work.

“We heard what the president said, but we also want him to hear and listen to what we are saying. First, he must respect our work and we will also do our part,” Dongo said.