VICE President, retired General Constantine Chiwenga yesterday announced the extermination of employment for all nursing staff who took part in strike which started over the weekend.
By Michael Gwarisa
According to Gen Chiwenga, the decision was arrived after a series of meeting 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 sector.
“Government regrets to note that the industrial action in this essential services sector has persisted. What makes the whole action both deplorable and reprehensible is the fact that, as agreed yesterday, government today released (18/04/18) and transferred a sum of $17 144 446 into the account of the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) 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 work stations in the interest of saving lives and helping hapless patients placed under their care. Government now regards this lack of remorse as politically motivated, and thus going beyond concerns of conditions of service and worker welfare.
“Accordingly, government has decided in the interest of patients and saving lives to discharge all striking nurses with immediate effect. Further, government has now instructed the Health services board to speedily engage, as appropriate, all unemployed nurses in the country. It has also authorised the board to recall retired nursing staff into the service,” said VP Chiwenga.
He added that funds which had been released towards addressing the grievances of striking nurses would now be diverted to meeting the costs of effecting new directive and arrangement which takes immediate effect.
In the meantime, government pays singular tribute to all nurses who have loyally remained at work, and to those from ranks of striking nurses who have heeded the calls for them to work. Their commitment to duty and patients, both pointing to deep regard for life as required by professional oath, is noted and appreciated.
“Government also appeals to all those visiting public health institutions to exercise patience while services are being restored and brought back to normalcy. Equally, in view of sporadic cases of cholera reported in different parts of the country, all families and individuals are being encouraged to observe strict standards of hygiene in their homes and all public places. Where symptoms suggest any infections, these must promptly be brought to the attention of health personnel at nearest service points.”