AT least 52 Mutare City Council nurses have downed tools in protest over non-payment of their salaries for the past 18 months.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
The nurses’ representatives were yesterday locked in meetings with council management in an effort to resolve the impasse. Mutare mayor Tatenda Nhamarare declined to take questions, saying he was in a meeting. NewsDay saw several patients being turned away at council-run clinics.
“They started the strike on Friday and we have been trying to engage them for negotiations, but it’s difficult. They are refusing to go back to work, they are affected just like all other council workers,’’ a council official who declined to be named said.
Nurses who spoke on condition of anonymity accused the local authority of taking their grievances lightly.
“We have been patient for several months. Actually, we are now confused as to how much the council owes us. We are not going back to work until our matter is solved,’’ one nurse said.
“We are sacrificing to be at work and other people are not appreciating. This time we are not going back, we need our money. This has been long overdue and we need our money,” another nurse said.
Council’s top managers have been under fire for paying themselves disproportionately high salaries and allowances while their children had their fees paid by the financially-troubled local authority.
A recent government audit exposed massive rot at Mutare City Council, culminating in the resignation of town clerk Obert Muzawazi.