Zimbabwe Sacks Striking Nurses

Enterprise Television-  Zimbabwe Sacks Striking Nurses

Zimbabwe Government has sacked all striking nurses after they refused to return to work even though the employer acceded to their demands and availed over $17 million.

According to report, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has endorsed the dismissal to ensure new people were immediately engaged to save the lives of patients.

The Health Services Board (HSB) has been instructed to speedily employ jobless trained nurses.

The Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga, said the behaviour by the nurses was politically-motivated.

“Against a background of a series of meetings involving Government, the Health Services Board and the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA), which were meant to resolve the industrial action by nursing staff in the public health sector and the subsequent decision by Government yesterday to accede to the demands made by the striking nurses, Government regrets to note that the industrial action in this essential service sector has persisted,” said VP Chiwenga.

He added: “What makes the whole action (by nurses) both deplorable and reprehensible is the fact that as agreed yesterday, Government released and transferred a sum of $17 114 446 into the account of the Ministry of Health and Child Care for on-payment to the striking nurses.

“While this demonstrated good faith on the part of Government, the prompt transfers which have been effected against demonstrable economic challenges facing our nation has not, quite surprisingly, persuaded the striking nurses to go back to their workstations in the interest of saving lives and helping hapless patients placed under their care.”

Chinwenga said “now regards this lack of remorse as politically motivated” and “as going beyond concerns of conditions of service and worker welfare”.

“Accordingly, Government has decided, in the interest of patients and of saving lives, to discharge all the striking nurses with immediate effect,” he said. “Further, Government has instructed the Health Services Board to speedily engage, as appropriate, all unemployed, but trained nurses in the country. It has also authorised the board to recall retired nursing staff into service.”

The government has appealed to people visiting public health institutions to be patient while services are being restored.

However, President Mnangagwa said: “Government has done everything to comply with the demands of the striking nurses and the striking nurses have done everything to defy the directive by Government. This leaves us with no option, but to dismiss them.”

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