Update on Ongoing Industrial Action

With reference to the above, this communication serves as an update to all our members which we provide hereunder:

Today marks the 33″ day since health workers withdrew their labour citing incapacitation.

As ZINA, we are concerned about the silent genocide taking place in our hospitals whilst government remains silent as if everything is normal.

Currently, the most vulnerable members of society across the country are being turned away from hospitals because of the absence of services there and they are now dying in their homes.

Whilst Covid-19 is spreading all over, government is not doing anything to capacitate our hospitals. We are surely bound to lose the fight against Covid-19 with this sort of approach.

Most saddening is the increase in the number of nurses who are testing positive for Covid-19. This goes to what we have been saying all along that the inadequate PPEs are exposing frontline health workers to this deadly virus.

So, not only are nurses exposed to Covid-19 due to poor PPEs, but they are expected to be exposed on the back of poor salaries.

We reiterate that government seems not to be taking its nurses seriously. Hopefully by the time it decides to act, things would not have gone irreparably bad.

We are worried that without adequate and immediate intervention, the few nurses who continuously decide to subsidise government by going to work are going to be ravished by the Covid- 19 virus.

To this end, all nurses, including those on probation, are still advised not to continue to go to work and to withdraw their labour. This is now no longer an issue about remuneration only but it is also about our health. This virus does not select between those on probation and those not on probation.

The bail is now firmly in government’s court. It has a duty towards its workers to not only provide decent wages but to provide a safe environment for its frontline workers to attend to their duties. The need for adequate PPEs cannot be overstated and lives depend on it.

Likewise, until government provides us with decent wages in United States Dollars, nurses’ position remains that we will not even consider going back to work.

We believe our demands are reasonable and it is within our employer to break the current impasse so that we can attend our jobs and fight the common enemy, being the Covid-19 virus. Until that time comes, we continue with our rallying call – NO USD, NO WORK!

Source: Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA)