Zimbabwe Sacks 16,000 Striking Nurses, Says Action “Politically Motivated”

 

Zimbabwe on Wednesday sacked 16,000 striking nurses, as the new government
sought to keep a lid on labour unrest in the build-up to the first elections since the fall of Robert Mugabe.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga accused the nurses of staging a “politically motivated” walkout and said
they would be replaced by retired and unemployed staff.

The nurses’ union told its members to stay calm as it considered its response.

The nurses went on strike on Monday over unpaid allowances and other issues, leaving hospitals understaffed.

The action came days after junior doctors wrapped up a month-long walkout over pay and working conditions.

Chiwenga, the retired army general who led a de facto military coup against Mugabe in November, said the
Zimbabwe Nurses Association had rejected a 17 million dollars offer to clear wage arrears.

“Government now regards this lack of remorse as politically motivated, and thus going beyond concerns of
conditions of services and worker welfare,” said Chiwenga.

“Accordingly, government has decided, in the interest of patients and of saving lives, to discharge all the
striking nurses with immediate effect.”

He did not say which political group he thought was behind the strike.

Mugabe regularly accused opposition groups of trying to undermine his government by encouraging the public
sector strikes that punctuated his time in office.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who replaced Mugabe in November, will stand in elections set for July against
a revitalized opposition Movement for Democratic Change party led by 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa.

Mnangagwa has promised to revitalise the economy after decades of severe mismanagement.

Cash shortages mean banks are forced to limit withdrawals, unemployment remains above 80 per cent and the
government still struggles to pay workers on time.

Reuters/NAN

 

Posted by on 18/04/2018. Filed under Health, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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