Nurses who went on strike protesting poor salaries have been summoned to disciplinary hearings, a move described by labour unions as an attempt to instil fear amongst workers.
Health Service Board (HSB) chairperson Paulinus Sikhosana confirmed the hearings saying investigations were being done institutionally. NewsDay cites Sikhosana as saying:
These disciplinary actions are confidential. There are disciplinary principles in place and when something happens, they refer to the procedures that are there.
Health workers, mainly doctors and nurses, last month withdrew their services across the country over poor remuneration.
They are demanding restoration of their pre-October 2018 salaries that were in United States dollars.
Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Association president Robert Chiduku said the disciplinary hearings were an attempt to intimidate health workers. Chiduku said this Wednesday:
This is a tactic to instil fear in anticipation of the looming and pending industrial action that is meant to take place on July 22, 2022 and maybe prevent another action from taking place.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo echoed Chiduku’s remarks and castigated the government for victimising people “every time they ask for better salaries.” He added:
We have a President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) who says he is a listening President and when the people he appoints behave like this, then it is not good. Nurses were demonstrating at the hospitals because they were incapacitated, they were never on strike.
In 2018, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, a former army general who doubles as the Minister of Health and Child Care fired thousands of nurses who went on strike to demand higher salaries.