THE European Union (EU) has terminated Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZIMA) president and Zanu PF’s Masvingo province secretary for health, Paul Chimedza’s consultancy contract on allegations that he is linked to political violence in Masvingo.
Chimedza was working for the EU as a consultant providing technical assistance related to HIV and Aids and other chronic diseases.
In a circular to medical organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) dated May 19, the EU head in Zimbabwe, Xavier Marchal, said Chimedza’s contract was terminated because of his alleged role in post-election violence against MDC supporters.
“I would like to inform you that due to allegations concerning Chimedza’s involvement in political violence in Masvingo area that raise serious doubt about his professional integrity, we have decided to terminate his contract with immediate effect,” Marchal said. Chimedza was accused of unleashing violence in Gutu South, a seat he was eyeing before Zanu PF reserved it for a woman candidate, Shuvai Mahofa, in the March 29 parliamentary elections. Mahofa lost the election to the MDC’s Elphas Mukonoweshuro.
Chimedza this week said he was shocked by the EU decision and suspected that he had been targeted because of his Zanu PF membership.
“I was in France attending the World Medical Association council meeting when the letter was circulated to several NGOs and organisations that deal with the EU, informing them about the termination of my contract based on political violence in Masvingo,” Chimedza told the Zimbabwe Independent.
“These are serious allegations that need proof. It is very sad that they had to terminate the contract on hearsay. The least they could have done as professionals was to provide evidence. I expected them to make decisions based on facts. We are living in a politically —— charged environment and anyone can just say anything about me because I am a Zanu PF supporter.”
Chimedza accused a member of Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) of sending an e-mail to the British Medical Association accusing senior members of ZIMA of being involved in political violence.
However, ZADHR chairman Douglas Gwatidzo denied the accusations saying his organisation had nothing to do with the termination of Chimedza’s contract.
“We were not in any way involved in the termination of Chimedza’s contract with EU,” Gwatidzo said. “That was a process that happened between an individual and the organisation he was consulting for. We have heard rumours accusing Chimedza of being involved in political violence in Gutu South, but we have not received any evidence.”
Specialist doctors’ organisations in Zimbabwe, among them the Surgical Society in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Anaesthetic Association, National Physicians Association and Pediatric Association of Zimbabwe, last week distanced themselves from the politically- motivated violence.
“There have been reports of some member(s) of the profession being involved. We would like to disassociate ourselves from any member(s) who may be directly or indirectly involved in violence,” they said in a joint statement.
ZIMA this week condemned acts of violence that has stretched nationwide and urged political leadership and protagonists from any political party or organization to stop instead exercise restraint and uphold peace
Last week two MDC activists were killed while four were reported missing and several others were seriously injured at Jerera Growth point in Zaka, Masvingo after they were allegedly attacked by Zanu PF militia popularly known as the hit squad boys.
By Wongai Zhangazha