Go hang – Nurses tell Chiwenga

THE 15 000 striking nurses at public hospitals yesterday scoffed at their purported summary dismissal from the public service, literally telling Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga (pictured) who announced the decision in a statement on Tuesday, to go hang.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

This came amid speculative reports that former President Robert Mugabe’s position as patron of the Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association (Zina) could have poisoned the relationship between the two parties and triggered the fallout

“The Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association has taken note of the Press statement currently circulating on media platforms where government alleges to have fired all striking nurses (sic). We would want to urge our members to remain calm during these times. The position, as

The nurses downed their tools on Monday demanding an improvement in their working conditions, leading to protracted negotiations before Chiwenga pulled the trigger on Tuesday evening and fired the health professionals for allegedly negotiating in bad faith.

The civil servants’ umbrella body, Apex Council, yesterday also rapped government’s “irrational and unconstitutional move” to expel the nurses in the midst of negotiations.

“The Apex Council is shocked by government’s decision, as this constitutes unfair labour practice and against the provisions of Section 65 of the Constitution and the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 98, which gives workers right to strike.

“What is happening in the health sector is a result of miscarriage of negotiations and changing of goalposts by government in terms of implementing and fulfilling agreements made in the past,” Apex Council boss Cecilia Alexander said. “Yesterday, it was doctors, now nurses, all this because of government’s piecemeal and divisive approach in addressing conditions of service in the civil service.”

Alexander urged government to reverse its decision and engage the nurses.

But government yesterday stood its ground and even wrote to various hospital chief executive officers and provincial medical directors, urging them to urgently rehire retired nurses and unemployed nursing graduates to cover “gaps created by the dismissals”.

“Reference is made to the press statement by the Vice-President Chiwenga on April 17, 2018. You are requested to recruit nurses to cover the gaps created by the nurses who were summarily discharged. Please ensure that your relevant teams are in place to facilitate the recruitment and assumption of duty with effect from 18 April 2018 by retired and unemployed nurses,” Health ministry acting secretary Sidney Makarawo wrote.


According to the letter, copied to the executive director of the Health Services Board Ruth Kaseke, central hospitals were given the greenlight to recruit a maximum of 30 retired nurses, 20 for provincial hospitals, 15 at district hospitals, five for rural and one and two each for rural health centres and clinics.

Added Makarawo: “Any nurses who were expected on duty on the 16th and 17th (April) and did not report as instructed are deemed to have been summarily dismissed.”

The Zimbabwe Congress on Trade Unions (ZCTU), while expressing dismay at government’s decision, suggested that Mugabe, who was deposed as the country’s leader last November, might have been a factor in the break-down in salary talks between government and the nurses.

“We received the news with shock and our understanding is that the nurses followed procedure in embarking on collective job action. We, therefore, do not understand how government arrived at the drastic decision, but are certain these measures will not solve the problems our country is facing,” ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said yesterday.

Moyo said he was yet to speak to the Zina leadership, hence could not say definitively whether Chiwenga’s claims that the strike had turned political had been inspired by the fact that Mugabe was associated with the union.

“In our view, the leadership of the Zina and the general membership are not on the same page. Mugabe is or was patron of the organisation and that creates problems. When you have the employer as patron, this compromises the union and complicates issues.

“But until we speak to the leadership of the nurses, however, we want to believe that Mugabe’s being the patron has nothing to do with what is happening because, indeed, the nurses are raising genuine concerns that speak to you and me as well as the generality of Zimbabweans, we require healthcare. We don’t want to believe that Mugabe being patron had nothing to do with the strike though,” he added.

But Zina president Simangaliso Mafa dismissed the reports, arguing Mugabe ceased to be the union’s patron soon after he left office in November last year.
“He was, but is no longer our patron. We now have trustees and if he was, his name would be appearing on our letterhead. We should not try to cloud issues with unnecessary politics. This is a clear labour issue. Nurses are owed money and government must pay. It’s as simple as that, it has nothing to do with who is patron or not,” the Zina leader said.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba also said Mugabe became patron of Zina by virtue of being President then.

“Government’s political interpretation is based on the fact that nurses, through their unions, tabled the reasons for their strike to government,” he said.

“They were sent back to dollarise their grievances in negotiations with the ministries of Finance and Health, which they did. Government then instructed Treasury to pay the $17 million, but the nurses chose to remain on strike. What else could government do? We were left with no option.”

But Moyo said government needed to understand the implications of its drastic decision.

“We are not sure if government is aware of the implications of such a decision. However, we are certain it is the ordinary person who will suffer, the child, woman and infirm who will bear the brunt of this decision. The people that government is now going to employ will need retraining and the ordinary person will carry the burden.

“It is wrong for government to take advantage of the high unemployment in the country to exploit people,” he said, adding the nurses’ grievances were genuine.

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66 Comments

  1. Chiwenga should just go back to driving tanks or polishing guns or whatever he was good at back in the army. Government office, particularly the office of VP, is way beyond his capability

    1. GET RID OF MUGABE CONSTITUTION ( COMMUNIST )
      MUGABE CHANGED THE CONSTITUTION\
      GO BACK TO BRITISH CONSTITUTION

    2. This is a policy to create 2 million jobs

    3. this is a policy to create 2 million jobs

  2. Chiwenga surely is the black swan in this new despensation

  3. Cde Independence

    Chiwenga akadzidza kusvika papi kkkk

  4. We are not interested with leaders who failed for the past 37. Munangagwa and Chiwenga should respect the nation. They are not only People who want to live on this earth. Nurses should demand their money

  5. Comment…Chiwenga is , A Bullshit ,

  6. A new Zimbabwe with Draconian Laws,No rights ,no freedom of expression,why are negotiations done on newspapers whilst the aggrieved have a Legal Association awaiting dialogue with Employer.We hope to be given a proper explanation for restore legacy.Dear Zimbabweans it means workers live with your poverty and do not open your mouth in the new dispensation

  7. That is what you earn by being overzealous with political leaders. Leave them out of your unions. Bootlicking.

  8. Marujata Kumba

    Chiwenga should just shut up and listen to the needs of the nurses because if government is going to use this aggressive “kill what you eat” strategy we are going #NOWHERE. This junta barbarism is not taking the country anywhere because i tell you when April is over, the teachers will also start their strike and you will fire even more. ZVOZOPERERA KUPI NHAI CHIWENGA? Its therefore clear that you’re the best when its comes to #COUP Mugabe but definitely you can’t #COUP DE TAT the demands of the economy. DHORA MUHOMWE, ipai vanhu mari dzavo maizviti munozvigona pamakaba chigaro

    1. Mark my words, NO SANE TEACHER IS GOING TO STRIKE, they now know the calibre of leadership they are dealing with now, one word, RUTHLESS leadership!

  9. Nurses, why neglecting patients. Right now people are dying unnecessarily in government hospitals. Is it a secret that the country is in crisis, no money. Why can you be patient? The country is on its knees and money will not just grow on mango trees. You are unpatriotic and must be fired. We will hire people who have the country at heart. THis time anyone who tries to destabilise the country will be dealt with. Soon we will send youths to discipline you. How can you love money more than human life.

    1. cde rutsito munenge matsito zvawo. don’t mis interpret meaning ya patriotic. hudzvinyiriri nekushaya hanya kuvashandi hazvirevi chinhu

      1. where do you think the gvt gets the money from? Nurses are some of the highest paid people in gve today. they are spoiled brats. let them go wish.

        1. Dai ukarwarara ufire muhospital musina manurse. mbwa yemunhu.

        2. are you the one paying them. do you know their salaries. usataura kwausina kuswera. is 280 dollars being highest paid, when a government minister was complaining that 300 dollars as allowance was not enough for a day. then you want someone to survive with 280 a month. how much is rent, transport fare, food on the table, unifoorm, among other things. avoid such rubbish utterances

    2. Mr Ritsitu, when government was buying luxury Isuzu twin cabs for chiefs was money growing on trees? Last month they took their families to China on a 2.3 million trip was money growing on tree? Its just greed and being insensitive to the needs of others. Thats what African ‘liberators’ do

    3. Kana mapiwa something momboshanda zvimwe zvichiuya

    4. Cde dai isiri Mari tisiri kubasa,,,,,

  10. chiweti chiwenga

    blaz ava thinks nyika yese i barrack here

  11. Cde Rutsito, you should not wonder why a neglected nurse neglects her patients. Manifestation of a bush mentality.

  12. A strike is supposed to be a tool to compel the employer to come to the negotiating table. The nurses had succeeded in getting their employer to come and negotiate. So we were of the understanding that, whilst the negotiations were taking place, nurses would go back to work, in the interests of their patients. If the negotiations were going to take three weeks or so, what was going to happen to our brothers and sisters who are desperately fighting for their lives in public hospitals? Couldn’t the bulk of the nurses can’t go back to work, leaving a small negotiating team to conclude the bargaining? If nurses do not care about the consequences of their strike to their patients and are determined to be on strike until the negotiations are complete, then they should just go home and never come back.

    1. But the nurses were fired hardly 48 hours after the so-called agreement with the government. Remember, a strike in the Zimbabwean context does not go viral for obvious reasons – poor communication networks and fear of victimisation! It therefore follows that calling off a strike will face the same problems! Government should have given the nurses a reasonable ultimatum – even this trigger happy VP Chiwenga allowed for a prolonged dialogue with the then President Mugabe. It’s not the first time we have had a nurses’ strike, but the response from government this time has been so shocking!

    2. these negotiations have been on since time immemorial with government not fulfilling their promises. for example pakaenda madoctors kustrike they promised to pay allowances by the 1st of april but nothing came. in january they promised the 17 million that they purpotedly say have been given to the ministry, of which is the same statement they gave in jabuary, but this is april the 17 million is still being promised.
      hospitals do not have resources to use, like gloves and other essential drugs, yet zanu is busy buying flamboyant vehicles for campaign. should nurses then succumb to the pressure and diseases in the name of patriotism, yet the leaders are not patriotic.

  13. THE DRAGON GUY

    kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk strike and killing and back home fired

  14. The lambasting of Chiwenga is very interesting. Only a few months back he was hailed as a hero for masterminding the ouster of old Robert. Now he is vilified over the nurses issue. A few questionable decisions can make a once like person hated. His advisors may not have carefully thought about this.

  15. For me, lots of blunders occurred from both sides, here. ZINA should have demonstrated its high regard for human life by clearly telling the government that they would deploy skeletal staff on a rotational basis as a bargaining tool. On the other hand, VP Chiwenga should never have been involved at all! The Minister of Health or his Permanent Secretary should have been the people to pull the trigger, if there was any need, The involvement of VP Chiwenga was purely an a bullying and intimidatory tactic. This has vastly discredited the so-called new dispensation. Will ED was speaking of prioritising dialogue, his VP was being heavy-handed – that’s typical of policy inconsistency! VP Chiwenga still have a long way to go to shed off the rough Army Commander mentality. He has to realise that in the army there are no negotiations – but commands, while in the civil service there are unions and associations that are embraced by the constitution. I feel betrayed by the coup now!

  16. If you didn’t know, Zimbabweans you are in for it. That is what you matched to and from Highfield for – A military junta and that is how it operates. You just wait and see what will happen when Chiwenga becomes the President after ED steps down. Forewarned is forearmed.

  17. In what capacity does Chiwenga fire the striking nurses when he is not their employer? This high-handed response to genuine grievances does not solve the problem. The suffering ordinary people will continue to suffer and die in our hospitals and clinics while the Chiwengas and others in power seek their treatment outside the country.
    Thank you very much for reminding Zimbabweans who NOT to vote for.

    1. The fact of the matter is that the gvt has made significant concessions to the point of paying the $17million back pay dating back to 2010. And moreso their grievances date back to 2010 under RGM’s reign now this ZCTU guy wants to be clever by half to infer that nurses were being punished because their patron is RGM – what a load of rubbish. The truth of the matter is that the ZCTU is very much involved with this strike and is calling shots from behind as usual pushing its opposition political agenda whilst people are dying. Its also a fact that the majority of zim workers need urgent salary reviews but its clear that the economy has not fully recovered woona munhu achiramba backpay from as far back as 2010. You should then ask yourself why? There is too much political machinations behind the scenes whilst innocent people are dying. Vanhu ngatirambe kuiitiswa.

      1. you are misinformed my dear. the 17 million was said to have been deposited since january of this year, only that nurses were diplomatic and quite about it thinking government will heed to the call, but unfortunately it had a deaf ear. the arrears are not the grievances on the table my friend. the same government owed the nurses though under the leadership of RGM, but its the same government and thats why the country did not go to elections to look for a new leader upon the ouster of RGM. hence there is nothing new with this gvt. why politicising labour issues, are employers allowed to demand for a good working conditions? thats a sign of failure and ill minded. why are they now speaking, when they were given 14 days to respond before the strike.
        follow your labour practice closely:
        what start in any labour dispute are negotiations, followed by written notice of the strike which is given 14 days for the employer to respond. after which the cadres will go to strike. all this the nurses followed, but the gvt seem to want to take it as an emergency whilst they were given ample time to respond, yet they failed to respond.

        1. I hear you Kuda unfortunately you missed by point concerning ZCTU wanting to link Chiwenga’s decision to RGM being the nurses’s patron yet ZCTU has been active in this whole thing from the very beginning pushing for the strike to continue. To say its the same gvt is incorrect coz ED’s govt cannot be equated to RGM’s. Yes you may disagree but look at it from this perspective if the nurses endured such miserable conditions since 2010 so why strike in 2018 when the NEW gvt is already addressing their greivances. There is therefore an element of political opportunism which is unfortunate because people are dying and also take note that its not only nurses who are suffering by the greater majority of employees who are choosing to be patient with the new gvt.

  18. It looks like a number of idiots are still obsessed with the name Mugabe, leave the old man out of this circus. The junta is clueless to running the affairs of the state and every dump head in the junta wants to appoint an accusing finger to the former President.

  19. The country is on its knees? yet govt bought cars for chiefs? What world are you living in? Govt, through Zim Airways, has bought 4 x new Boeing 777 planes. Wake up, read widely, don’t support govt blindly and most importantly, use your brains. These politicians get treatment abroad – it’s you and I and the ordinary people who will be impacted by this threatening and “command” behaviour from unelected “officials”.

  20. Chiwenga is forgetting that he has changed office, its no longer the barracks mr comrade, labour relations and presidency are different from giving orders to soldiers…please restore your own regasi before bringing the whole nation to its knees again

  21. CHIWENGA AKAMBOSVIKA EVEN GRADE SEVEN CHAIYO,, ANHGE ANGE ASINGAITE MACOUP IWAYA ACHIPIHWA MA QUALIFICATIONS

  22. #makoni central

    I Comment… Nyika irikufambira mberi gyz chiwenga urikuda chakanaka manesi ostriker not good vanhu vanofa gyz ngavataure zvakanaka vanonzikwa then vp chiwenga muchigamuchiravo zvichemo chivaregereraiwo havapanhi futi

  23. tawanda chibaya

    ngavaende manurse ayo.Manurse akudhara vaiita basa nemazvo,they had a calling.ari kutambira mari inokwana ndiyani.playing with peoples lives vagara vasingashande.vakambogara hurovha vanoita mushe.Nyika ine mari yipi yavarikuda when the country,s economy is like this.

  24. Vhoterai vanoda vanhu Kwete anagugude vanofunga kuti nyika ndeyavo. Pamberi naChamisa. Tikasadaro kufema moto anaChiwenga vachidhla anamunagangwa vachidhla iwe. kunofiwa nenzara mukangovapa vhoti. Hande to register kuvhota. itai zvokutambandarevawo. Mugabe and mpoko were better off

  25. These nurses rubish dzevanhu vagara hapana chavari kuita muzvipatara macho vakawanda vari pastandby they have to recall vanorida avo vanodisa mari isipo vovasiya vanozorora kudzimba dzavo

  26. chiwenga b ramai vako dofo rakadzidza.politics lead guns not the other way round l support the nurses iwe nema inexperienced nurses rapanai

  27. Comment…Chiwenga thinks because he fired Mugabe, he can fire everybody. Soon teachers are going to strike, Chiwenga will fire them,finally soldiers will strike and Chiwenga will go into exile. Chiwenga thought he had succeeded where the British, the American and their Anglosaxon allies had failed. Pasi nejunta

  28. Comment…ndoo kupererwa vanhu ve zanu hauna njere chiwenga

  29. What is meant by $17 million pay back,is that per person?Why mentioning the total figure?What percentage of increment is it per individual per month?The government might be making a lot of unnecessary noise out of a total of $200 per individual from 2010 which translates to an increment of $2 a month.

  30. Surely i do not understand this thing, nurses go on strike some pple dont talk about people dying. Now they are fired and are in a phase where they are being replaced, some pple then start talking about pple dying. Are there no other ways of negotiating these salaries.

  31. manje handisi kuenda kubasa pasina cash mucha ” vukura mugo vukura” Handidye patriotism. Hameno ikoko

  32. chiwenga anoufunga kuti kutonga nyika nekutonga masoja zvakafanana come elections murikubaya chete coz people have learn enough of you dont full yourself muchiti vanhu vanokudai hapana kana benzi rinohwina this time majaira

  33. Vamwe vanhuso..Ko saka maticha akaenda pastrike Chivengwa unobafaya vese futi …Iye zvino zvakubuda pachena kuti ndiwe waiita kuti Mugabe adzvanyirire vanhu…You were the power behind him all these yese

  34. spirit of Tsvangirai

    Chiwenga its now in the open that u are the one behind the matebeleland genocide,you slaugtered pple in cold blood,the same way u fired nurses

  35. chiwenga wakairasa ukuenda kumusha taona paumire. tikuona ikutambika kuti wakaoma. ukusiya vanhu vakaba mamillions kuAir zimbabwe wonetsera ava vakuda 17m chte. dzinga Gumba naChinamasa ka nemanagement yose yeAirzimbabwe

  36. takakuudzai kuti masoja amunoisa mugovernmeent aya muchakaura,manje hamusati matanga muchaona kuti mucharohwa sei pama election ipapa coz vacharuza asi vacharamba kubva,handiti maifara muchiti kutonga kwaro gamba muchavukura.

  37. Gone are the days when every matter was handled with force. This Zimbabwe is not a barrack and Chiwenga should know that. Mukarwara munobuda muchienda kunze kwenyika asi menyu mishonga hamuna kutenga… makadya mari yacho. Enough of this Junta running of the country, ipai vanhu mari dzavo. You bought Isuzu twin cabs maisaziva here kuti vanhu venyu vanodawo kurapwa. Thats nonsense to tell us that there is no money in this country when we have tax payers in the country, its simply a matter of priorities. Did you not but Ford Rangers for campaigning this week? Is that ZANU PF money? If it is, from where? Ipai ma nurse mari dzavo apa nxaaa

  38. Chiwenga is right and spot on. We cant be held ransom us patients because of greedy morons. Can you explain on how on earth a nurse is supposed to earn an allowance of 70$ per hour from 0.70 c. Thats pure stupidity at all costs. In an ecomomy s ours its not sustanable.
    We cant let patients suffer because we want an unressonable hike of 840 dollars per day. Ah. Ndokugutisa uko

  39. Inonzi military touch baba kkkkkkk command ruling kkkkk. Kunyatsoratidza kuti bhuku mumusoro hamuna. Chamisa pinda hako iwe kwete zvatirikuitirwa izvi neZanu tsvina.

  40. These nurses are jus stupid. How can they claim 840$ per day. Ndokugwara uko

  41. MDC and zCTU behind these shinanigans

  42. Fosholo Kapwepwe

    Zimbabwe is open for business bullshit. Muchapazha zvenyu.

  43. Who cares if an Ordinary man dies, the juntas are Brainless insetiable idiots . Most of them shall die on the run, tables will change, by chance or by design

  44. THE DOMINO EFFECT…MAFFY’S LAW

  45. Saka the new staff ikupinda yakaita zvichemo it wont strike hanty. It makes no sense. Vote wisely otherwise tofa nenzara. Mugabe was even better than these guys.

  46. isu tine hama dzakafa last week nekushaiwa attendance yemaNurse vachiti varikuda more than $500 salary ,apa Paine mumwe arikuda basa racho even with less than $500 ,saka Chiwenga akagona 100% ngaatore vanhu vanechido nehutano weruzhinji,not vanokara mari

  47. Haisi nyaya yemari chete apa ,manurse edu vari kudawo zvekushandisa kuitira kuti vasatapurire zvirwere

  48. GO AHEAD GENTLEMAN AND LADIES . CHIWENGA MUST KNOW THAT YOUR FIELD IS DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THE ARMY. WHY IS HE FORCING YOU TO STOP EXERCISING YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT? WE DON’T RULE USING THE IRON FIST . THANKS FOR SHOWING US THE KIND OF A MAN YOU ARE MADE UP OF. WE WONT VOTE YOU.

  49. what can u expect from a criminal gvt.

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