The Government has told doctors that it is not in a position to pay them in foreign currency as this will lead to full dollarisation of the economy which it said is a “tried, tested and failed concept”.
The doctors are demanding among other things to have their salaries paid in United States dollars, according to a letter to Government submitted by the Senior Hospital Doctors Association.
Full dollarisation was replaced by the multi-currency system towards the end of 2016.
This again had its challenges forcing
Government to adopt a mono-currency system through Statutory Instrument 142 which again did not last leading to the
current Statutory Instrument 185 of 2020 which compels or allows a dual pricing system.
The RBZ says this is part of a de-dollarisation road map.
“By February 2018 the country was dry of the US dollar with citizens sleeping at the banks to withdraw their deposits to no avail.
“There is absolutely nothing to stop that from happening again,” reads part of Government’s response signed off by the secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Gibson Mhlanga.
“Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is Albert Eistein’s definition of insanity,” said Dr Mhlanga.
The demands by doctors, who have since announced they will now withdraw their services following Government’s declared position, comes at a time nurses have been on strike since June 2020 demanding salaries in foreign currency.
Unions representing nurses declared that their members were “economically incapacitated to continue reporting for duty until the remuneration package is reviewed”.
Most workers in Zimbabwe have been demanding salaries in foreign currency, citing the collapse of Zimbabwe’s newly reintroduced currency.
After a decade of dollarisation, Zimbabwe last year reintroduced its currency but it has been losing value rapidly against major currencies.
On Tuesday, the Zimbabwe dollar officially traded at $76,76 to the green back having started the year at $16 to US$1.