More than 200 nurses working at government health institutions may lose their jobs after Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) president, Robert Chiduku, was fired on Monday, 15 August on allegations of conducting union business at his workplace.
The nurses will soon appear before disciplinary committees at provincial government hospitals across the country for participating in demonstrations and absenteeism from duty without authorisation.
In a letter dated 15 August 2022 addressed to Chiduku, a representative of the Gweru provincial disciplinary authority, Stewart Jailos said the trade unionist was found guilty of conducting union business within the hospital premises without the employer’s consent.
Chiduku is one of the many nurses and union leaders summoned by the Ministry of Health and Childcare officials for disciplinary hearings over their calls for better salaries for nurses.
Zimbabwe Nurses Union (ZINA) president Enock Dongo said the hearings are being done in order to intimidate workers. Dongo said:
All this is being done to intimidate and scare away the nurses from any job action.
That is their strategy, but we are not scared and this we condemn.
I have learnt of the unfortunate dismissal from work of Robert Chiduku.
We don’t expect the employer to dismiss union leaders over fighting for a good cause.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson Obert Masaraure said the sacking of Chiduku is “evil” and “should be condemned by all progressive citizens.”
Health Services Board (HSB) spokesperson Tryfine Rachel Dzvukutu confirmed to NewsDay that the board had summoned a number of nurses with hearings still in progress.