By Robert Tapfumaneyi
The situation in Harare’s health institutions has worsened following the decision by Harare City Council clinic nurses to stop reporting work citing incapacitation.
Harare City Council nurses and other health staff claim they are unable to report for work because the salaries they are getting are nolonger sustainable.
Government recently turned to the municipality as most of its institutions are grounded due to a two months doctors’ strike.
However, the decision by the workers provides new challenges for central government.
The nurses, through their representatives, wrote to the Municipal managers in July demanding that their salaries be pegged at the current inter-bank rate, which the council said was impossible.
“We also want to bring to your attention that our failure to address our members’ issues coupled with this current increase in the price of fuel and basic commodities has left them severely incapacitated that they are now unable to report for duty,” reads part of the letter by Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Nurses Workers Union (ZURCNWU).
“Without further ado, we demand immediate payment of our members’ salaries from January 2019 at current inter-bank rate.”
The letter added: “Our members are now unable to render their services normally due to their incapacitation as from 4 November 2019.”
Harare City Council director of health services Prosper Chonzi said council was engaging the nurses through their representatives.
“At the moment, I am actually collecting data from the nurses to find out what is happening.
“The indications are that some nurses did not turn up and they were citing incapacitation. So, I am still looking at the data coming from the clinics,” Chonzi said.
“And it’s too early to talk of the impact because you never know by the end of the day and end of day tomorrow things might have changed.
“We are also trying to engage the leadership of that union.”