BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
Nurses are up in arms with government after officials demanded that they apologise for taking it to court over flexible working hours, saying that government sees itself as if it is above the law.
The Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) yesterday said they were dismayed by the attitude shown by the government towards nurses.
They said the government should actually be apologising to them for acting in a manner which the court said was incorrect.
“The attitude is not only in contempt of court but it is also grossly unjust, with the conduct being to coerce nurses into submission to unlawful directives,” Zina president Enock Dongo said.
According to Zina, on Monday this week, nurses at Harare Hospital as well as at United Bulawayo Hospital were asked to write apology letters.
“All this is being done because government can simply ignore a court order if it wants.
“It is an undeniable fact that the Zimbabwe Nurses Association took government to court twice in the last month. On both occasions, the High Court ruled that nurses were correct and were entitled as a matter of right to continue with the flexible working hour system. Both judgments are a matter of public record under case numbers HC6507/20 and HC7099/20,” he said.
The nurses said they now felt like they have been stripped of their decency, dignity and livelihoods with threats of withholding their December salaries.
“It has now become evidently clear that the government sees itself as if it is above the law.
“This is the only conclusion to be derived from the actions of a government that ignores two clear court orders.
“It is government as well which should stop acting in contempt of court judgments and allow nurses to work flexible hours.
“Lastly, it is government which should pay nurses their salaries as ordered by the court rather than put its own conditions on things,” Dongo said.
The nurses said even if government did not respect their profession, it should at least respect the courts.