By Noel Tshuma
TELECOMMUNICATIONS magnate Strive Masiyiwa has jumped to government’s help announcing he will begin the process of hiring some 2000 doctors as the country’s health crisis threatens to destabilise President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s two year old administration.
In a statement, Wednesday, Masiyiwa’s Higher Life Foundation (HLF) also announced a raft of trinkets to go with a guaranteed stipend at the end of the month.
“A non-negotiable subsistence allowance of $5000 for a maximum of 2000 doctors. This amount will be disbursed monthly and is subject to unilateral review by HLF.
“The monthly subsistence will be disbursed to qualifying junior and senior resident officers on proof of being on duty at the specific institution for the duration of the month. HLF will provide a smartfone as a toll of the trade. A VAYA carpool voucher to access to the hospital at a maximum of three trips a day,” said the statement.
Government has so far fired almost 500 doctors who had embarked on a near three months industrial action demanding a review of their salaries and allowances at the interbank currency rate.
The doctors rejected a 100% salary and allowances increase with Mnangagwa arguing the strike was being funded by his government’s detractors.
According to the statement from Masiyiwa’s foundation the doctors will also have $10 million fund for equipment used by doctors on a day to day basis. Masiyiwa will also provide internet services at all major teaching hospitals in the country.
The initiative is funded by Masiyiwa, his family and unnamed donors.
“Please note that this initiative is not from Econet Wireless Zimbabwe or Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe. Neither of these public listed companies’ management boards were consulted on this matter. It has nothing to do with them,” said the statement.
“Higher Life Foundation is an initiative of the Masiyiwa Family Foundation. The support for this initiative will come from the family and its donor partners. Other members of the Zimbabwe corporate and donor community are welcome to approach HLF with a view to helping.”
Government or the beneficiaries of the initiative were not consulted on the plan according to the statement.