Sat, 06 Jun 2020

A Zimbabwean doctors' union leader whose suspected kidnapping sparked protests by medics in the capital Harare has been found alive, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.

Peter Magombeyi had been missing since Saturday night, with his Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) saying he was taken because of his role in organising strikes to demand better pay and working conditions.

HRW Southern Africa Director Dewa Mavhinga told AFP that Magombeyi had "made contact by phone, he is alive", adding that a team of lawyers and doctors was travelling to pick him up from Nyabira, some 30km north of the capital.

Allan Domingo of ZHDA said Magombeyi had called and "he said he was scared and sounded disorientated".

Union vice president Masimba Ndoro said Magombeyi was being interrogated by police.

Hundreds of medical staff have staged protests this week to demand the authorities investigate the disappearance.

Demonstrators on Monday chanted "No Peter, no work".

Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana said earlier this week that the administration had "no reason" to abduct citizens.

Doctors are paid less than $200 (180 euros) per month in Zimbabwe - a country still struggling with hyperinflation and shortages of fuel and food after decades of economic crisis under former president Robert Mugabe, who died earlier this month.

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