The Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association (Zina) yesterday said most of its members were heeding the call to stay at home until the government paid them their December salaries.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Nurses and doctors resolved to go on strike on January 1 after the government said it would only pay them on Tuesday.
The government offered them lunch and $1 for transport until they were paid, but the health workers dismissed the pledge as an insult.
Zina secretary-general Enock Dongo yesterday said most health workers who reported for duty were “psychologically unfit to work” because they were broke.
He dismissed fresh speculation that the government intended to push the pay date even further.
“As far as we are concerned, [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John] Mangudya told us, come rain come thunder, we would get our salaries on January 5,” he said.
“Of course that was verbal with nothing written down. The situation on the ground at the moment is not good as there is just skeletal staff at medical institutions because the nurses do not have any money.”
He said the offer to give nurses daily bus fare was a mockery.
“The nurses do not survive on bus fare alone. They have families and they need food when they get to work,” he said.
“They are psychologically unfit to work and if they do not get their salaries on January 5 then they will all stop going to work and the governor must know that.
“We asked him about the shifting of the dates and he assured us that it was all speculation,” Dongo added in apparent reference to unconfirmed reports that the pay date could be moved to January 12.
Yesterday a few nurses reported for duty at Harare Hospital where they only attended to critical cases while other patients were either being turned away or referred to Parirenyatwa Hospital. At Parirenyatwa patients that spoke to The Standard complained of extra ordinarily slow service.
Acting Public Service minister Lazarus Dokora yesterday told zbc that reports of pay dates being moved to January 12 were untrue.