Doctors' hearing set for today

HARARE - The hearing where the striking medical practitioners sought leave to appeal at the Supreme Court has been moved to today (Monday) after lawyers representing the Health Service Board (HSB) failed to appear in court on Saturday.

Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZDHA) filed an urgent chamber application at the Labour Court seeking permission to approach the Supreme Court to appeal against the judgment handed down by the same court.

The Labour Court last week declared the strike which began on December 1 illegal and ordered the doctors to return to work within 12 hours.

However, the junior doctors defied the court order, prompting the government to suspend all those on strike.

Initially, the matter was set to be heard on Saturday but HSB lawyer Farai Chingwere from the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office did not appear in court.

Edzai Matika of Munyaradzi Gwisai and Partners who is representing the junior doctors said they were advised by the registrar that the AG’s office called saying they are still preparing their response papers.

“We were advised that they called the Registrar saying they are still preparing their papers to respond to our application. If you are not in a position to respond to an application, you appear in court to lodge your application for postponement. You don’t make a phone call,” Matika said.

“We are seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court so we did an urgent application considering that the matter is urgent hence it was meant to be heard…,” he said.

Junior doctors across the country downed tools on December 1 citing poor working conditions. Radiographers and senior doctors have since joined the strike.

Following the strike, HSB dragged the doctors to the Labour Court where it successfully argued that the strike was illegal.


 

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