Disgruntled nurses in Zimbabwe have accused Vice President Constantino Chiwenga of blocking salary and allowance increases in the health sector as punishment for past strikes and demonstrations.
The allegations come after the government increased salaries for teachers, police officers, the army, and pensioners, with no mention of the health sector. According to a letter dated April 4, 2023, the National Joint Negotiating Council had approved the increase of cushioning allowances to US$200 and a US$250 COVID-19 allowance, but nurses will not be receiving it for unspecified reasons.
The government memorandum on the salary changes reads, “Health Sector shall be paid a USD Allowance of US$200 in the same manner.”
The allegations have been denied by Chiwenga.
A nurse at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, who wished to remain anonymous, said,
“The general feeling is that the Health Minister is punishing us,” while a doctor at Sally Mugabe Hospital expressed frustration, saying the Zimbabwean government was working tirelessly to demotivate the health sector.
Teachers have also dismissed the salary increase they received and are demanding US$1 260 per month to cover their monthly expenses.