VP Chiwenga should revoke firing of nurses, negotiate

VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga on Tuesday announced that all striking nurses had been fired, probably the most unwarranted and drastic decision ever taken.

Chiwenga announced that the nurses had been offered some money but they continued with the strike, leading to their mass firing.

What this situation needed was tact, with the government negotiating with the striking workers, rather than this heavy-handed approach.

The nurses have genuine grievances, which the government has been ignoring for years, and firing them will not solve the problem.

Hiring unemployed or retired nurses will not help the situation ever, as that is a sure way of ensuring that the health delivery system deteriorates further.

One day, these nurses will also be fed up with poor working conditions and they will strike and we wonder if the government will wield the axe again.

A strike in the health sector has to be handled delicately, rather than issuing threats, as this is unhelpful and people take polar positions.

As a military man, maybe Chiwenga is used to a situation where his word went unquestioned, as he barked orders, but in the civilian world, things work a little differently, with people expected to negotiate, argue and come up with a situation that works best for them.

In his statement, Chiwenga also displays shocking levels of paranoia, saying the strike was political.

Nurses have been quite patriotic in the face of a collapsing economy and a health sector that fails to provide basics and they have a right to demand a little more than what they are earning right now.
Instead of firing them, the government should be empathetic to their situation and responsive to their demands.

Zimbabwean workers, particularly public servants, have been quite patient and have delivered diligently even when their work has gone unnoticed and underappreciated.


Thus, Chiwenga is urged to withdraw that order firing the striking nurses and retreat to the negotiating table and present a deal acceptable to the workers.

This way, the government will be able to salvage the little that is left of our health sector and ensure that it does not collapse.

If Chiwenga is desperate to fire someone, then he should ask President Emmerson Mnangagwa to axe Health minister David Parirenyatwa.

In less than two months, there have been two strikes in the health sector — first by doctors and now nurses — and it points to a problem of leadership, which Chiwenga should be addressing, rather than this wholesale approach of firing nurses, whose only crime is demanding that their pay be commensurate with their work.

26 Comments

  1. Good people, this idiot called Chiwenga is useless as a stool, akamama pfugwa, A person on the top of hierarchy reducing himself to be an operational guy, this govt is going no where, kutanga kupi masoja achishandisa pfungwa, manje makuzvionera mega. These guys are worse than Mugabe, they will use force nepaisingadiwe. They were outsmarted by Jonathan Moyo and Mugabe and they had to resort to violence to get what they want, they had to use weapons. And you expect them to be civilized like normal human beings then you have something coming worse. This goes to prove that these were the masterminds of violence for the past elections coming from Gukurahundi to the massive vote rigging

  2. That’s what happens when you put a gunman in civilian matters

  3. please cite the autohor(s) of your artile, thats a good practise of journalism. we are tired of reading articles that do not indicate the authors

    1. so that you target and harass them because they have exposed the general .Tuma CIO twenhando kwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  4. I am not sure whether government made the right decision or not in firing the striking nurses. However, to argue that hiring retired and inexperienced nurses will not solve the problem is rather subjective, and the speculation that sooner or later the new recruits will also get fed up is myopic in my view. We already have a situation where patients are not getting any service at all with the nurses on strike. My view is getting some service notwithstanding the lack of experience is a better devil compared to not having the service at all. Question is, ‘is government deliberately withholding money that it has?’ Everyone is being shortchanged in this country, civil servants, private sector and the unemployed. I think nurses should be a bit more considerate and tolerant like everyone else. They must remember their oath of service and put lives first. In this case they have joined government in using human life as a bargaining tool and will soon lose sympathy from those that supported them.

    1. You think its easy to work in a hospital and get exposed to diseases while you earn peanuts. After that, those ministers and traditional chiefs are getting new cars and luxurious allowances. You just have to work in a hospital for 1 week, without gloves, medicine and decent salary.

      1. There is no easy job. You may think that working in a hotel is easy but it’s not; every job has it’s hazards that one should know before one gets into. The oath medical personnel take is a reminder of what they are getting into… So leaving patients to die and refusing government to bring in those that are willing to work in those conditions is not only selfish and uncaring but manipulative.

        1. Chiwenga is also being manipulative because he knows if he fires striking nurses he can find replacements, why he didn’t fire the doctors who had been on strike for a month compared to a 1 week nurses’ strike. He is simply employing military techniques 🙁

        2. Chamisa for President 2018

          THE SITUATION IN ZIM IS TOO DIRE ,SHOULD A NURSE BE MANIPULATED BECAUSE OF AN OATH ,LIFE IS SACRED AND IT SHOULD BE VALUED NURSE INCLUDED.YOU ARE THE TYPE OF A WIFE BASHER A VERY ABUSIVE HUSBAND ONE WHO BEATS HER WIFE EVERY FRIDAY BECAUSE OF A MARRIAGE OATH,GO HANG,
          ONE CAN MOVE OUT OF MARRIAGE ,WITH PROCEDURE ,IF IT BECOMES LIFE THREATENING DESPITE AN OATH AND EVERY ZIMBABWEAN EMPLOYEE HAS RIGHT TO ENGAGE IN INDUSTRIAL ACTION.
          DONT BE BLINKERED ,BE HOLISTIC,THINK OR GO HANG.

  5. Not necessary to cite the author, for what matters is the import of what he is saying. Anyway for crying out loud, this is an opinion by Mathazi that you can see by his picture. Chiwenga is showing his true colours – heartless man given to giving orders without first of all thinking through. Whatever was ED doing when this stupid decision was made? Or we take it that Chiwenga is actually the President and ED is just but a stooge? Did the General earn his Doctorate? We begin to wonder if indeed the Professor was correct regarding the degree because in reality, a PhD holder would not make such an irrational decision.

  6. Chiwenga is heartless for firing and hiring unemployed nurses; what then do we call the nurses that are leaving patients in hospitals ? ‘HEART-FULL’ !. Is VP Chiwenga heartless to patients or to nurses? Obviously he can not be to both. The general is right.

  7. Does Chiwenga think retired nurses and inexperienced nurses can treat patients without medicine and the correct nursing facilities? He is just dreaming. It is a lie that the firing is being done to save lives, actually done to destroy more lives, why then do the ministers go abroad for treatment? Lets not just blindly support a dumb move by this military man, he simply doesn’t understand governance.

  8. VP Chiwenga how much was offered to the nurses or what percentage of their salary?At the same time we need to know how much was offered to the doctors or what percentage of their salary.You cannot give 5% and 20% respectively to people working in the same field and expect life to be normal.if it was 5% across the board I don’t the nurses were going to strike.

  9. if it was 5% across the board I don’t think the nurses were going to strike.

  10. tongai pfutsek supporter zanu yako iyoyo kusiri kufa ndekupi viva manurse

    1. Hurling insults does not help anyone. I just presented my own view on a matter and you find it appropriate to insult me and to label me? I think you need to grow up. Anyway, I shall not descend to your level because there is nothing to benefit from engaging in a debate with your likes boet…

    2. Tongai is cool, and g40 usatuka vanhu. Present your views, and you are likely to convince others with an intelligent argument, rather than an insult. If Tongai registers for the forthcoming elections, he/she will get my vote.

  11. the challenge is most people do not know where these nurses are coming from. we are basing our arguments over zanu propaganda and antics, to try and justify their moves and forgeting to get full details from the affected nurses. this is very unfair to the nurses themselves as they are exposed to a lot of harsh conditions and ordered to perfom. wat do you expect from such a nurse if they have no resources.

  12. the revhorushinari suicide failure.

  13. Lloyd Chigodora

    Mr vice president by force, you cannot use force in these issues, the nurses are underpaid finish

  14. Government already using over two thirds on national budgets on civil servant salaries. At this rate next ma teacher striking, then ma clerk, magistrate, etc, pfee 100% of entire national budget going to salaries.

  15. Who is worth taking,Border Gezi green bombers and striking nurses?

  16. The VP ia a hardcore military man a commander only accustomed to barking instructions thats why in modern democratic world order a military man will only get civilian deployments until after having retired for a minimum of 5yrs. Its for that reason why Sibusiso Moyo and Perence Shiri were denied entry in the UK in early March. If Chiwenga had an iota of common sense he would know that summary disimissals are costly to the taxpayer as they are illegal. The government has unfortunately demonstrated that it is willing to negotiate with its worker where it does its in bad faith and mistrust that the leaves civil servants with one choice ‘strike’. The situation now is Government vs lives of its citizens and one lesson/reminder to the later your vote is mightier. Nurses cant wait anylonger for the ballot paper.

  17. Nurses are trying to take govt 4 ransom because of coming elections smell the coffee , they just been given bonus yesterday . Nw they want to fuel inflation. Were will all this Stop. Govt should govern full stop. If this goes un cheked the whole of Civil Service will go on strike , chek all these actions
    are timed before Elections why

  18. I am surprised this article suggests chiwenga should have nogotiated before firing the nurses. I have not seen an article from newsday suggesting that the nurses needed to negotiate with government before taking their drastic action that has the effect of loss of lives. Let the nurses taste their own medicine. Let’s not politicise all issues this a matter between an employer and it’s employees. Any a grieved party needs to follow the labour law provisions.

  19. WHY IS IT THAT PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF TELLING THE TRUTH? CHIWENGA HIMSELF IS A MURDERER WHO DON’T CARE ABOUT PEOPLE DYING. CHIWENGA MUST FIRST OF ALL BE LAW ABIDEN BEFORE COMMITTING HIMSELF WITH ANYTHING .

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