Zimbabwe doctors protest over union leader’s disappearance

Hundreds of Zimbabwean doctors protested in central Harare on Monday over the disappearance of the leader of their union, but riot police blocked them from marching to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office.

A young Zimbabwean doctor who led a recent doctors' strike over poor government salaries disappeared since Saturday, in a move his colleagues say is an overt warning to all public-sector doctors in the country.

The events could exacerbate an impasse between the doctors and the government over their demands for a salary increase, as doctors say their government salary is a pittance that doesn't allow them to cover even the most basic needs.

Here is the chilling message that Dr. Peter Magombeyi, head of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, received before he suddenly went missing.

Do not say I did not warn you, read his colleague, Dr. Learnmore Shoti. Keep on doing what you are doing, you will be taken by a whirlwind. We are getting close now. Which is a threat you will disappear. This was a screenshot from him a few days before this incident. So we are very much worried about what really happened to him.

As a result of the nation's shattered economy, junior doctors earn less than $100 a month. They have since gone on strike twice in the past year to try to address that. The nation's triple-digit inflation means that most Zimbabweans are struggling to afford basic necessities.

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