At least twenty-five (25) Harare Hospital nurses were arrested this morning for staging a demonstration against government’s failure to attend to their grievances, TechnoMag can reveal.
It is alleged that the health practitioners have for a long time been petitioning the government to review their salaries upwards in line with the current economic environment.
The government recently responded by offering them a 50% increment plus a COVID-19 allowance of “USD$75”.
However, the nurses across the country have described the offer as a mockery to their profession.
Nurses have been staging demonstrations since last month.
On Monday morning, Harare Hospital was the venue for the lined-up demonstrations after Parirenyatwa hosted the previous week.
More than hundred nurses participated in Monday’s demonstration.
The protests were prematurely ended following the deployment of members of the “black boots” police unit.
The deployment saw more than twenty-five health workers arrested while singing near hospital administration offices carrying placards demanding better working conditions, personal protecting clothes, and remuneration.
In an interview with the media, one of the nurses who expressed their concerns said, “This was a peaceful demonstration to alert authorities that we are being chocked their policies. We can’t continue working in such an environment. We can’t afford transport to work, food for our families and our future is bleak because we can’t even upgrade ourselves.”
Patience waiting for treatment complained of poor service and confirmed the nurses were on go-slow. They pleaded with government to resolve the crisis to save lives.
“All is not well here. We came here in the morning and we are yet to be attended to. We are told nurses are angry that their colleagues were arrested by police for protesting against poor working conditions and low remuneration,” says one patient Kudakwashe Muroyiwa.
“We feel it is the responsibility of the government to remunerate its workers. I feel the health workers have a genuine reason to go on strike because they have families to feed,” he said.
The disgruntled health personnel said there was not enough protective clothing at the hospital and the government was not taking adequate steps to address their grievances and exposing them to Covid-19