The City of Harare has been hit by an exodus of nurses, with over 240 posts now vacant, resulting in the mass vaccination programme continuing but at a slow pace.
Harare City said the nurses had abandoned council to join organisations.
Previously, council used to be one of the best paying employer but as poor management continues unabated in the city, many technical people are jumping ship to join better paying companies.
In a recent tweet, the City of Harare said: “Vaccination ongoing at Belvedere Polyclinic. Long queues characterise the vaccination exercise.
“Council is short staffed. Over 240 nurses have left to join other organisations.”
A number of citizens criticised council on its twitter page saying there was no reason for City of Harare to mourn about the departures of nurses when it is the employer, who can easily recruit some staffers to fill in the gaps.
“Do something about it, city council! Are you not the employer?” asked a Twitter user, while another sarcastically said: “Someone actually sat to post that nonsense . . . this council is long dead”.
Another Twitter user, Maoko Mavi, said: “Council has always something to complain about. There are plenty of trained nurses without jobs out there. Recruit simple.”
Mangamatii, another twitter user, said: “It’s simple, if you’re paying them a living wage, one that offers progress. I even know some who would rather do locums in private institutions . . .”
Kelvin Motsi said nurses were now leaving council when they were at one stage earning more than some qualified doctors.
Another Twitter user, BeTheBee, said: “What is the one good thing that City of Harare is doing? Just one thing chekutiwo (that) you are proud to say you have done over the past 2 years. One!”
Gweru City Council also has 31 vacant positions for nurses at its clinics, a development that has affected the mass vaccination programme in a way.
Council clinics are serving up to 50 people per day and in some cases, many people seeking vaccination are turned away.
The local authority runs eight clinics which are Senga, Mkoba Polyclinic, Mkoba 1, Totonga, Child Welfare, Mtapa Clinic, Ivene and New Life Centre.