The Parliament yesterday called on the government to issue an official statement on the ongoing strike of doctors to clarify the situation for an anxious public.

Deputy Speaker, Job Ndugai

Deputy Speaker, Job Ndugai said before adjourning the morning parliamentary session yesterday that it would not be understood if such a statement was not be issued as soon as possible.

“In Egypt 74 people died during a football match and the national assembly was not at work but following the incident the House has been called and is sitting right now. We have in the health sector doctors who are on strike. A government statement on the situation is expected” said Ndugai.

He added: “Legislators spoke the day before yesterday, yesterday and today. If the statement is not delivered tomorrow it will not be understood and there is a likelihood that the MPs will demand this statement again and the House schedule is likely to be disrupted.”

Ndugai’s statement came after two members of parliament: Dr Faustine Ndugulile, Kigamboni (CCM) and John Mnyika, Ubungo (Chadema) demanded the government statement on the matter soon after question and answer session only to be told by Ndugai that their motion was not seconded by other MPs.

“Honourable Ndugulile and Mnyika have properly used the section on the parliamentary Standing Orders. The only problem is that their motion was not seconded, therefore let us carry on with the business,” ruled Ndugai.

MP Mnyika had argued that the demanded statement should be debated in the House with other businesses put on hold.
The said statement has been requested several times since the start of the sixth meeting here last Tuesday. Kigoma North MP, Kabwe Zitto was the first to demand the same statement but Speaker Anne Makinda said the government had prepared it and would deliver it later on.

Makinda told a news conference later on that the statement would be given on the following day but nothing happened on Wednesday. On the contrary Minister of State in the Prime Ministers Office, Policy, Co-ordination and National Assembly, William Lukuvi said the statement would be issued by the ministers and that was why it was not indicated on the House schedule.

Lukuvi was responding to a request by Biharamulo West MP Dr Gervase Mbassa who wanted to know when the official statement would be issued.

Hamad Rashid Mohamed, Wawi (CUF) said in the National Assembly yesterday that the government should seriously consider holding talks with doctors through their five-man committee formed of specialist doctors who intend to meet the Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda.

“Meet them and talk because people are dying and the effects are escalating. On the other side I request the doctors to go back to work because seeing the doctor is part of treatment. The government should not be delaying payment of doctors while it is on cash budget and has to deal with the symptoms of strike like this”, he noted the one time head of official opposition camp in the House.




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