Nurses’ strike triggers health crisis

NURSES from public hospitals downed their tools yesterday, for the second time this year, in protest over the government’s failure to improve their working conditions.
The industrial action which affected all major public hospitals in Harare, Karoi, Bulawayo, Marondera and Chinhoyi, triggered a health crisis with patients being discharged prematurely as most departments were closed.


Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association (Zina) president Simangaliso Mafa told NewsDay they had no choice, but to go on strike after government ignored their 14-day ultimatum, which lapsed on Sunday.

“We met with the government on Sunday and we did not agree on some issues, therefore, we are going to meet them again and see if we can come to a mutual agreement,” she said.

Zina secretary-general, Enock Dongo said they will only return to work after their demands have been met.

“We gave them (Health ministry) a grace period to map out a plan in dealing with this issue, but they negotiated in bad faith. They can’t continue treating us badly as if we don’t matter at all, our salaries are not sufficient and we deliver in hard conditions where there is inadequate equipment. This is affecting our families too and putting the nation’s health sector in danger of losing patients every time.

“We will continue with this industrial action till the government delivers what we demand and also what they always promise by word of mouth without auctioning it. I can confirm that a lot of nurses in public hospitals are not and will not deliver duties till our grievance is solved.”

Nurses were demanding that their night duty allowances be hiked from 0,76 cents per hour to $70.

Nurses from Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals went home early and at Harare Central Hospital patients were not being attended to in time as the nurses were seated while others did not come to work.

Student nurses and doctors were the only ones that reported for duty.

A nurse from one of the hospitals told NewsDay that student nurses who, under normal circumstances, are supposed to work under supervision, were attending to patients.
Solwayo Ngwenya, clinical director at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo said they had closed some sections with skeleton nursing staff only attending to critical areas like intensive care unit, maternity, theatres and the casualty departments.

“I can confirm that nurses have really gone on strike and we are trying to handle the situation at hand with what we have. Right now we are attending to emergency cases only,” Ngwenya said.

At Karoi District Hospital, some patients voluntarily discharged themselves after nurses joined the nationwide strike.

At Chikangwe Clinic, there was only one nurse who was distributing antiretroviral therapy drugs to patients. Operations were also paralysed at Marondera Provincial Hospital with patients referred from other medical institutions being turned away.

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on:


  1. elsewhere we hear the patients beat up these striking nurses very interesting developments and is this a preview of things to come in future demos by health personal lets wait and see, the sick are saying enough is enough never mind the grievances

  2. all nurses on strike shld be fired and they shld not compare themslves namaDoctors who are educated,ivo ma O levels .stop this nonsense u Nurses

    1. You are very stupid.Nurses need to be treated well.I have no doubt you are zanu pf empty vessel.Brainless snake.

    2. you are an idiot

    3. I think you should visit the Hospitals and see who works more than who. I am not in support with any strike but what you said is something else. Go and be treated with your educated Doctors.

      For your own information, l want to update you Kumushakure that Nurses of now a days are now educated my dear they have Degrees, Masters and others PHD holders yet Doctor vako vakangoita first degree.

      Don’t insult Nurses ever again like this. Unless if you have relative yako isina kudzidza ine “o” level bedzi.

      I appreciate those people they do what l can not do. Thier work deserve good earnings at the end of the day.

      1. cease fire there is no need for all these unprintables otherwise just put your points across and the people will judge remember the literate is well above 94% any continued empty headed shouting will not make your contribution wiser.

  3. How stupid for a patient to bit up someone who is suppose to treat you. What more if you are given the wrong medication. The results maybe catastrophic. The government should simply address the needs of their employees, otherwise we will get to nowhere.

    1. Vakarowa manurse avo havasi mapatience.Kutombowana simba rekurowa manurse.Very stupid.

  4. if the nurses are not educated, then why were the patients being turned back? The doctors should have simply treated the patients without the nurses. Kumushakure you have simply showed your high level of stupidity and selfishness. it shows you don’t even understand how a health system works. if you have nothing to say, just keep quite. Who said being an O’level means you are not educated. By attaining a higher education qualification the circus of Ordinary level vanquishes. Vamwe vanhu so, i just wonder kuti makasikwa sei. There are a lot of degreed nurses in the country. You speak like a ZJC my brother.

    1. ZJC is even better,, he spoke like an EDIOT, so where is it written in the constituition that the uneducated are not supposed to be paid, work in better conditions and strike? you are the stupidiest person in the world if ever such a word exists Kumashakure.

  5. kumushakure chinja maitiro maitiro ako aya chinja ini l am not a nurse but l joining them in this strike

  6. ngavasiye kupedza mari vachikwira ndege vape vashandi mari after this teachers are coming after teachers civil servants then hapana zvatiri kuita. ngavatipe maserious treat workers, soldiers are not the only woekers in zimbabwe

  7. Nurses work more than doctors hence should be treated fairly n not to be seen as people who are not important

  8. some demands $910 for a trip but some demands a little so as to provide for their familes but what do we see.

    With all due respect respect Mr president and cabniet how worthy are you ,aren’t some of the things you claim to be yours supposed to be used to pay those nurses.

  9. saka vanhu 4 vakabatsirana kunyora ka story ikaka.

Comments are closed.