Forward Nyanyiwa Herald Correspondent
The Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association (ZINA) Harare province will not take part in industrial action — slated for today — by health personnel after assurances by the association’s new patron, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, that he will personally look into their grievances and address them as early as the beginning of next month.
President Mnangagwa gave the assurance to ZINA’s top executive during a two-hour-long meeting at his offices on Friday last week.
The province, which met on Saturday to deliberate on the meeting with the President on Friday and the impending strike, resolved that its members should not down tools since the meeting with President Mnangagwa superseded that of the Health Apex which called for the strike.
“The meeting (with President) was confirmed and called for on Friday 21 June at 11am, coinciding with the Health Apex meeting, which was also scheduled to take place at almost the same time on the same day,” the meeting noted.
“The ZINA president called and informed the Health Apex chairman about the new developments. Although the national executive pleaded with the Apex Council to reschedule the time for its meeting considering that the sticking issue of remuneration was also on the agenda with President Mnangagwa’s meeting, the Apex Council proceeded with its meeting, from which the initial decision by all health workers to down tools on Monday, 24 June was cemented,” the meeting noted.
“It therefore became unnecessary not only for ZINA members but for all health workers to continue with plans for an industrial action, when the highest office in the country had committed to address all the sticking issues — a position the national executive intended to communicate and deliberate on with members of the Apex Council.
“Considering unfolding of these events and the latest position from the ZINA national executive, Harare province, thereby advise its members against taking part in any industrial action for now until further notice. This is to protect all Zina members against any legal action that may be taken,” the committee said after the Saturday meeting.
The meeting, however, agreed that because of incapacitation, nurses will continue with the two-day working shifts instead of the stipulated three days — a position that was also communicated to the President and Government officials attending the meeting.
The Saturday meeting was attended by ZINA president Mr Enock Dongo, Harare province executive and representatives from Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Harare Central Hospital, Chitungwiza Central Hospital, Harare City Council and St Giles Rehabilitation Hospital.
The Friday meeting, which was attended by Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo, Finance and Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, Acting Labour and Social Welfare Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Labour and Social Welfare Secretary Mr Simon Masanga and Health Services Board chairperson Dr Paulinus Sikosana was centred on four critical issues — remuneration, non-monetary benefits, human resource issues in public health institutions and the availability, accessibility and affordability of medicines.
The Friday meeting was also attended by Mr Dongo, ZINA secretary-general Harare province and Mashonaland East chairmen.
Mr Dongo described the meeting with the President as “fruitful”.
“We are thrilled as ZINA to have had the opportunity to get an ear from our patron President Mnangagwa in a meeting I can say was very fruitful . . .” , he said.