PRESS RELEASE
SUBJECT: NURSES STRIKE - VICE PRESIDENT CONSTATINO CHIWENGA OUT OF ORDER

The purported firing of striking nurses by Vice-President Constatino Chiwenga is completely out of order and must be condemned in the strongest terms.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) notes that it is a first of its kind in the history of Zimbabwe for a whole Vice President to issue a statement claiming to have fired striking workers. Zimbabwe is well aware that the Vice President is not an employer of nurses. Nurses are employed by the Health Services Board. The Vice President should be ashamed of usurping the role of the HSB.

The actions of Vice-President Chiwengwa show clearly that he is out of depth and he does not believe in the very institutions, like the HSB, that the government created. His actions also vindicate sceptics who have claimed that he is not fit for the top job.
It is no secret that staff in the health sector are poorly remunerated. There is also serious shortage of equipment for them to be able to diligently discharge their duties. The sector is collapsing simply because career Ministers like David Parirenyatwa continue to be appointed to the same ministry as if Zimbabwe is short of fresh brains. The health provision has been deteriorating under the nose of the same Minister for years without any action taken by the authorities. Our calls for him to do the hounourabel thing of quitting has been received with disdain by authorities.

We believe there is need to exercise restrain, tolerance and sober minds to resolve the impasse between the nurses and their employer before more bodies pile in mortuaries. We call upon all those involved to dialogue and come up with a lasting solution to the problems bedevilling the health sector.

Japhet Moyo
SECRETARY-GENERAL

ITUC AFRICA

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