President Robert Mugabe says doctors should stop valuing money at the
expense of the need to serve people, saying the medical practitioners
should understand the economic environment the country is operating in.
"We appreciate the work of doctors, they deserve to be rewarded accordingly. However, they must also understand the limitations the government is facing. We are still fighting for our liberation, there are sanctions that are affecting our capacity to honour our obligations to workers."
"Dr Muchemwa, as one of the first doctors who gave medical services to the liberation war fighters, had that understanding and we need his peers to understand also, he never put money first, but the people first and made great sacrifices. Right now as I speak there is a stand-off between our medical staff and us the government on remuneration," said President Mugabe.
The remarks come at a time some doctors have decided to stop accepting medical aid and demand cash upfront from the 1st of July, a situation that could put more burden to the people of Zimbabwe.
Cde Mugabe also said in Cde Muchemwa, the nation has lost a humble intellect with an amazingly charming personality.
"Cde Muchemwa was a dedicated cadre, who despite his abilities, remained humble. Always humble, always smiling, that is what Muchemwa was. Different from other people who always boast of their educational success," said President Mugabe.
He also said for the success of the liberation war, "we needed medical doctors like Dr Muchemwa. Of course he was not alone, we also had Dr Herbert Ushewokunze, Dr Muvhuti and Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, among others."
On a lighter note, President Mugabe revealed that he only knew it recently that Dr Dr Sekeramayi's daughter is married to the late Dr Muchemwa's son.
Earlier in his address, Cde Mugabe chronicled how the white colonial regime resorted to the poisoning of food and clothes during the liberation war, adding that Retired Brigadier General Muchemwa died from an ailment caused by poisoning during the war.
The late national hero died on Sunday last week in Egypt where he had gone to seek medical attention.