Doctors threaten strike over accommodation

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) has threatened to strike if Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo effects the proposed rental increase on government accommodation.

According to a circular released this April, Chombo said civil servants staying in government houses will have to pay more than double the current rates.

Chombo also ordered the termination of leases held by tenants in arrears and departure of occupants who are not government employees.

ZHDA national executive has vowed to fight the move which they feel further impoverishes civil servants.

“The ZHDA wishes to advise its members that it is illegal for any landlord in retrospect as highlighted in some circulars being circulated. Our lawyers are trigger ready to seek the necessary legal remedies should this diabolic move be implemented,” said the organisation in a statement released on Thursday.

According to the circular, civil servants occupying one-bedroomed houses in high-density areas will now pay $50 from $15, $105 up from $20 for those in two-bedroomed houses and rentals for three-bedroomed houses now stand at $150 from $25.

At least 300 of the 400 ZHDA members recently took part in a crippling 17-day job action demanding that government reviews conditions of service. Although some issues where attended to, negotiations on salary increments remain unmet as Treasury is financially stressed.

“The ZHDA wishes to categorically state that any unilateral increments on rentals is against the spirit of the on-going negotiations of the Health Services Bipartite Negotiating Forum,” the doctors said.

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