“We have no means to get to work” say striking doctors

Doctors in Zimbabwe have defied a court order to return to work, saying a pay rise offered by the government is too low.

High inflation has reduced the doctor’s pay to the equivalent of about $100 (£80) a month.

On Friday last week a court ruled the doctors’ strike was unlawful and gave them 48 hours to resume their duties.

The doctors said they could not comply with the court order because they lacked the means to get to work or meet their basic needs. The strike is now in its sixth week.

The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) announced on Sunday it would appeal to the Supreme Court.

“We noted the court order but unfortunately we don’t have the means by which to comply,” ZHDA spokesman Masimba Ndoro told news agency AFP on Monday.

The doctors say their pay has shrank 15-fold over the past year – a legacy of hyper-inflation caused by economic mismanagement under former president Robert Mugabe.

The economic situation has worsened under President Emmerson Mnangagwa.