THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have arrested and detained Harare Hospital nurses for allegedly planning to stage a demonstration against slave wages, a move that has sparked anger amongst nurses.
By Michael Gwarisa
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZIMA) President, Enoch Dongo condemned the act and called on authorities to release the health workers immediately.
Today, July 6, 2020, we have received information that nurses have been arrested at Harare Hospital. Indications are that the arrests were done allegedly for the purposes of avoiding a demonstration at Harare Hospital. At the time of the arrests, no demonstrations had begun.
“If ever we were in doubt about our government’s response to our genuine plight, this is the clearest evidence we could have got. Firstly, government promised upward salary reviews and COVID-19 allowances which have not been paid,” said Dongo.
He added that government refused to discuss with the nurses on the reviews, a move which has rendered the Bipartite Negotiating Panel useless and unilaterally declaring that it was not willing to negotiate for the next three months.
“Thirdly, and currently, we now are being victimized for utilizing the only option available to us by being arrested. We have a right to peacefully show our displeasure with our employer. The attempts to strangle our genuine voices is nothing new.
“However, and as we have always stated, we have lost our earnings already through slave wages and so we have nothing more lose. For this reason, we call upon all nurses to remain resolute and continue the struggle.”
He added that all nurses who have been going to work should down tools immediately and join their comrades in the struggle.
“To those who have been going to work al along, for how long will you continue to ignore the collective voices of the nursing profession? We urge you to stop derailing the efforts of many and to immediately withdraw your labor in the solidarity with the need to protect nurses interests.
“In particular, we demand the following: Immediate release of all our colleagues who are being arrested en masse. We also demand payment of our salaries in USD as they were on the 1st of October, 2018.”
Meanwhile, nurses and other health professionals downed tools three weeks in protest against the por living and working standards.