Nurses’ use of mobile phones irks Chiredzi residents

Conviction for any telephone offence attracts a fine or prison sentence of up to seven years.

UNITED Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA) has threatened to demonstrate over the use of mobile phones by nurses during working hours, a habit the residents said could lead to loss of life.


The association has since written to the hospital superintendent, David Tarumbwa, complaining that nurses were constantly on WhatsApp. In a letter that was gleaned by NewsDay and copied to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Member of Parliament for Chiredzi West Constituency, District Administrator, Musasa Project and President’s Office, UCHIRRA threatened to demonstrate if nurses continued to use phones during working hours while ignoring patients.

“We write to your office expressing great displeasure over the conduct and attitude of your staff towards patients (residents) seeking medical attention at Chiredzi General Hospital. Our office has received numerous unpleasant complaints of negligence of duty by your staff due to cell phone use (WhatsApp) during working hours while ignoring patients requiring urgent medical attention,” reads part of the letter.

“The worst report at the hospital was from the maternity ward where negligence is said to be rife, leading to loss of lives during child birth.”

UCHIRRA secretary-general, Bernard Dachi, said there was a report of HIV patients who were turned away without their supply of ARVs because they did not have counter books as patients’ cards and another woman who gave birth just outside the ward. Tarumbwa confirmed receiving the letter, but went on to say it was too general.

“I was in the process of responding to the letter but basically it is too general. It’s not specific. I think for us to take immediate action we need something that is specific. For example the issue of a baby that was delivered outside is something that we can investigate and if anyone is found wanting, appropriate action will be taken,” he said.

“Denying anyone medication is a chargeable offence and anyone caught doing that will be charged and discharged. I urge patients or relatives to come forward with their issue so that we improve our service delivery.”


  1. It’s not just nurses, that behaviour must be checked in all sectors, both public and private. The private sector is actually notorious for defending such behaviour, claiming some business comes via WhatsApp.

  2. My sister was in charge of a ward and then in emergency dept. ALL nurses were banned from using phones durinf shift (only on lunch break) if caught you could be dismissed.
    If companies are using Whatsapp then ONE person should be answering that on ONE phone – not all staff.
    Modern phones with all their social media are a curse to the smooth running od ANY organisation.

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