Health Workers In Zimbabwe Condemn Law Curbing Strikes

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
Health Workers In Zimbabwe Condemn Law Curbing Strikes

Zimbabwe’s health workers have condemned a new law that outlaws any industrial action, saying it will exacerbate the exodus of health professionals.

The Health Service Amendment Act which came into force on Tuesday prohibits health workers who are classified as an “essential” service from striking for more than three days.

The Act stipulates that those who do not comply face a fine or imprisonment of up to six months.

Enock Dongo, president of the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) said the new piece of legislation takes away health workers’ right to protest. He said:

After the rejection of the bill by various stakeholders, they still went ahead to pass it. It is very unfortunate. The right to protest has been taken away.

… They tried to be clever, saying we are allowed to strike for three days, but we all know that even when we down tools for more days they do not want to negotiate.

According to the Health Services Board (HSB), Zimbabwe has lost more than 4,000 doctors and nurses to the UK and other countries since 2021. Said Dongo:

When you threaten health workers with jail, how do you expect them to discharge their duties?

This will affect every citizen, nurses will just adopt a ‘go-slow’ [approach to work].

Norman Matara, the president of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said:

This law has taken us two steps backward. We have been trying to fight brain drain.

Further frustration of health workers would lead to more people leaving. This bill will bring more negatives than positives.

This bill was widely rejected by all health professionals and even after the parliamentary consultations, this bill was rejected by the people.

To see the bill being drafted into law without amendments is quite sad.

Government health workers have been demanding a living wage of US$540 a month but the government has said it cannot afford to meet their demands.

Nurses in Zimbabwe are paid less than US$100 a month excluding allowances. | The Guardian



Leave a Comment

Buy Phones on Credit.

More Deals