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Zimbabwe Doctors End Four-month Strike After Billionaire Offered Funding

Doctors in Zimbabwe have agreed to return to work, after accepting a funding offer from billionaire, Strive Masiyiwa, bringing an end to a prolonged strike.

The strike, which was over salaries and poor conditions, lasted more than four months, paralysing the country’s healthcare sector.

Masiyiwa, Zimbabwean telecoms billionaire and founder of Econet Wireless, last year, tabled an offer to bring an end to the industrial action.

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He promised to set up a 100m Zimbabwean dollar,($6.25 million) fund.

He said the fund would pay up to 2,000 doctors; a subsistence allowance of about $300 per month, to help them with transport and living costs, the BBC reports.

Masiyiwa, a private citizen, who lives in the United Kingdom, will fund the doctors for six months through a fellowship programme run by his Higherlife Foundation, a charitable organisation.

However, what will happen after the period is not yet clear.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), confirmed that Masiyiwa’s offer had been accepted.

“In light of the recent development, the ZHDA wants to extend its gratitude to the Higherlife Foundation for extending its offer once again to all government doctors,” the ZHDA said.

“The ZHDA is encouraging its entire membership to go and apply for the training fellowship before the stipulated deadline.”

Senior and junior doctors have agreed to go back to work as part of the same deal.

Dr Tawanda Zvakada, spokesman for the ZHDA, told the BBC that doctors are “still looking for a long term solution.”

The report stated that most of the striking doctors were earning less than US$100 a month, which leaves them struggling to buy food or get to work.

About Oluwafemi Ashaolu

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