Telecoms mogul and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa has said doctors have started signing up to an emergency doctors’ fund that his family Foundation launched last week.
Writing on his Facebook page, Masiyiwa said his staff had to extend the deadline of applications to 10 pm beyond close of business at 5pm due to the number of applicants.
“Zimbabwe’s public sector doctors, currently earn about Z$2800, which has been devastated by hyperinflation. They downed tools in September.
“In a bid to help break the impasse and get urgently needed medical help to the sick and injured in society, our foundation made the following offer:
“#$100m to be distributed to the doctors over 6 months, as follows:
Each doctor to get $5000pm (tax free);
Free transport valued at $1500 pm;
$10m to help doctors with personal equipment, and protective clothing.
“All this money is over and above whatever they receive from the government once they reach an agreement.
“We asked each doctor who is interested to apply directly by 5 pm last night. We had so many applications that we had to extend the time to 10 pm.
“Information on Applicants will not be released to any third party, in keeping with the foundation’s policies. Those who were successful will be informed directly.
“I have also directed Vaya to offer Free transport to every nurse that applies, for the next six months. This is worth over $900 per person, per month.
…these are gestures of goodwill.
“I have also asked our partners who worked with us on Cyclone Idai to set up a special fundraising initiative to help doctors, nurses and other health care workers in Zimbabwe. It will be announced in a matter of days.
“Anyone will be able to make donations to this fund.
“I’m hoping that churches will join this initiative, and bring whatever they can, to help our healthcare workers, particularly over the holiday season.
“It is my hope that the doctors, and their employer, the government, will reach an amicable agreement shortly. We have no part in this process, and our people are under strict instructions not to be involved.
“No matter what they agree, I will meet my commitment to those who applied, and qualified.”