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Striking medics at Zimbabwe’s public hospitals will end a four-month strike after accepting an offer from telecoms billionaire Strive Masiyiwa to pay a monthly allowance of about KSh 30,000 (about 300 USD) for six months.

The doctors went on strike on September 3, 2019 to protest against poor wages and a lack of adequate equipment and medicines, a situation which culminated to suffering among the majority poor unable to get treatment.

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Masiyiwa, through his philanthropic arm Higher Education Life Foundation, in November 2019 set up a 100 million Zimbabwe dollar (KSh 590 million) fund for the striking doctors.

The doctors initially sneered at the offer saying it did not provide a permanent solution to their grievances.

However, Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA), which represents junior doctors, said its members should now apply to the fund while negotiations with the government continue.

Junior doctors in Zimbabwe earn KSh 20,000, including allowances.

“This is not a long-lasting solution but this is an opportunity for our members to go back to work and finish their training,” Tawanda Zvakada, the ZHDA spokesman, said.

There are nearly 2,000 doctors working for the government.

Under the funding, the doctors would receive a monthly stipend of 5,000 Zimbabwe dollars, a smartphone, transport and uniforms over and above their government pay.

Masiyiwa who is an engineer by training is known for his philanthropic works inside and outside Zimbabwe as well as mentoring budding entrepreneurs.

Forbes estimates that Masiyiwa, who lives in Britain and owns Zimbabwe’s biggest telecoms company, Econet Wireless, among other businesses, has a net worth of KSh 101 billion.

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