BY RICHARD MUPONDE
GOVERNMENT has reportedly failed to pay nurses the US$10 daily allowances it promised them at the launch of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme four months ago.
Reports revealed that government only paid them allowances for one month.
The inoculation programme started in February and to date over 700 000 Zimbabweans have been vaccinated.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) president Enock Dongo told NewsDay that nurses felt hard done by government.
“Nurses are working day-in and day-out at several vaccination centres, but no one is being paid. Promises for the allowances were made, but no one was paid. That is why you see the rampant corruption by nurses who are now selling vaccination certificates everyday. It is unfair labour practice by our government, especially when it promised to do so. Government should honour its promise,” Dongo said.
He said health workers throughout the country were struggling to feed their families.
Health deputy minister John Mangwiro refused to comment on the issue.
“I think you have to check with the salaries department. They are responsible for that. At the moment, I am busy to look for that information for you,” Magwiro said.
Health experts said government should prioritise nurses.
Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike said: “We need to value and appreciate our frontline health workers who are playing an important role in the vaccine roll-out programme. They should be guaranteed of job security, be properly remunerated with high regard for their health and safety.
“The Finance minster Mthuli Ncube is always talking about a budget surplus why not use that money to pay COVID-19 allowances to nurses?“
Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association president Johannes Marisa said: “We need to make sure that we keep our staff motivated. I don’t think the government has no capacity to pay. It only needs a heart and goodwill to pay.”
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