Doctors, Nurses' Strike Paralyses Major Hospitals
The strike by healthcare workers entered its third day on Wednesday at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare, with critically-ill patients being turned away.
In Bulawayo, nurses reportedly embarked on a go-slow and turned up for work, but were not performing any duties.
Healthcare workers downed tools on Monday in protest over poor working conditions. They are demanding United States dollar salaries.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) president Enock Dongo said doctors and nurses in most parts of the country had joined the strike. Dongo said:
Nurses from different parts of the country joined the strike just like other employees because the salary negotiations have been ongoing for more than 14 months but are yielding nothing.
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The leader of government business in Parliament, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, on Wednesday, told parliamentarians in the National Assembly that negotiations for a salary review for civil servants are ongoing.
Ziyambi, however, insisted that the Government will not determine salaries in US dollars but put in place measures to stabilise the Zimbabwe dollar. He said:
Government is still in a negotiation process with health workers on the issue of salary increases.
An offer was tabled to the Apex Council and negotiations are continuing.
The health workers were advised that the process is ongoing and they must wait until the conclusion of that process.
It’s not very correct that the majority of them are on strike; it’s only the few who were on strike while a majority are at work and they have been advised that negations for salary increases are ongoing and, therefore, they must go back to work.
Our currency is the Zimbabwe dollar, and we are working towards removing whatever is causing our currency to decline.
We cannot, and we will not determine salaries in US dollars. We will never go to a scenario where we will peg salaries in US dollars.
Last week, civil servants rejected an offer by the government to increase their salaries by 100% which would have seen the lowest-paid worker taking home ZWL$36 000.