Zimbabwe Dismisses 16000 Nurses Over Strikes

Zimbabwe Dismisses 16000 Nurses Over Strikes

In a statement issued by the vice president, Constantino Chiwenga, government accused the striking nurses of ignoring the transfer of $17,114,446 transferred to the health ministry's account to address their grievances.

The military government in Zimbabwe seems to be running out of patience with the nurses who have followed in the footsteps of Junior Doctors who had a prolonged strike action last month.

Reacting to the statement, Zimbabwe's nurses' association said the nurses remained on strike.

The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday fired more than 10,000 nurses who were on strike, saying they will be replaced by newly-trained nurses and those recalled from retirement. Mugabe regularly accused opposition groups of trying to undermine his government by encouraging public sector strikes that marked his time in office.

The association, which has more than 16,000 members, said the strike will continue until money is in nurses' hands.

Health and Child Care Minister David Parirenyatwa said it was also important that nurses be on duty as the nation celebrates the independence holiday, which is usually associated with high road accidents.


"Government has decided, in the interest of patients and of saving lives, to discharge all the striking nurses with immediate effect", said Gen Chiwenga - the former army chief who led the overthrow of long-time leader Robert Mugabe in November - in a statement.

Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo closed its outpatient department and only tended to emergency cases, according to an official memo to staff.

Nurses in Zimbabwe went on strike on Monday to press the government to pay them allowances and to protest a flawed system for grading salaries, a nurses union said.

Since then, the country has used a number of foreign currencies for daily transactions, including the US dollar, the South African rand, the euro among other currencies.

Mnangagwa has promised to revitalise the southern African country's economy after decades of severe mismanagement.

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