Zimbabwean doctors are today staging a protest against the alleged abduction of their union union leader, Dr Peter Magombeyi.
The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) said its President, Dr Magombeyi, was abducted on Saturday, just a few days after he received threats from suspected state security agents.
Doctors from Parirenyatwa Hospital are leading the main protest, which has been joined in by other colleagues from Harare Hospital, and Mpilo Central Hospital in the city of Bulawayo. The doctors have vowed not to return to work until their colleague is found.
Magombeyi had called for a strike over low wages and insufficient drugs in State hospitals.
The police said it received the report of the abduction, and confirmed that investigations are going on.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is investigating a report received from an informant that the Acting President of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), Dr Peter Magombeyi, was last night abducted by three armed unidentified men in Budiriro, Harare,” national police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi reportedly said in a statement.
Doctors in Zimbabwe earn less than $50 a month, and have been pushing for a review of their salaries and allowances.
Activists, rights groups and various concerned members of the public are calling on the authorities to find the missing doctor. #FindDrPeterMagombeyi and #BringBackDrPeter, a social media-driven call to action to help raise awareness of the abduction has been trending.
There has been a number of harassment cases reported this year, where members of the civil society have been targeted for their work.
Commenting on the disappearance of Dr Magombeyi, @usembassyharare Tweeted: “Since January more than 50 civil society, labor, & opposition leaders have been abducted in Zimbabwe. No arrests have been made. We urge the government to take action & hold perpetrators of these human rights violations accountable. #FindDrPeterMagombeyi”.
In solidarity with our colleagues in Zimbabwe over the abduction and disappearance of Dr. Peter Magombeyi of Zimbabwe hospital doctors association.
Doctors & other healthcare workers are facing increasingly atrocious treatment by governments across Africa. pic.twitter.com/TQ8DBf5zT6
— Chibanzi Mwachonda 🇰🇪 (@CMwachonda) September 16, 2019