JOBLESS & EXTORTED Nurses up in arms against na­tional coun­cil

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Nqo­bile Tshili Mashudu Net­sianda

UN­EM­PLOYED Zim­bab­wean nurses seek­ing em­ploy­ment in for­eign coun­tries have slammed the Nurses Coun­cil of Zim­babwe (NCZ) for de­mand­ing about $150 to process their pa­pers.

The nurses fork out up to $100 for tran­scripts of their re­sults from train­ing in­sti­tu­tions.

They pay an ad­di­tional $60 to re­gional in­sti­tu­tions when they ap­ply for jobs out­side the coun­try.

Fum­ing nurses told The Chron­i­cle yes­ter­day that the NCZ re­quire­ment, which was in­tro­duced at the be­gin­ning of this year, was ex­tortive.

They said most of the nurses who had se­cured jobs out­side the coun­try had failed to raise the money and had as a re­sult lost an op­por­tu­nity to fend for their fam­i­lies.

An es­ti­mated 3 500 nurses are un­em­ployed in the coun­try fol­low­ing a Gov­ern­ment freeze on jobs in the pub­lic sec­tor.

The Gov­ern­ment re­cently lifted the bond im­posed on nurses to en­able them to seek em­ploy­ment out­side the coun­try.

How­ever, the un­em­ployed nurses said their quest for em­ploy­ment is be­ing frus­trated by NCZ.

“The NCZ in­tro­duced a ver­i­fi­ca­tion let­ter which we’re sup­posed to send to coun­tries or in­sti­tu­tions that want to em­ploy us.

“The ver­i­fi­ca­tion let­ter costs $150 and we don’t even know why we’re pay­ing it and why it’s pegged so high. What is painful is that if you fail to get a job and re-ap­ply else­where, you have to pay again,” said one of the nurses.

Another nurse said the NCZ sends the let­ter di­rectly to prospec­tive em­ploy­ers.

He said the ver­i­fi­ca­tion let­ter is one of many re­quire­ments that needs money be­fore one is em­ployed.

“The ver­i­fi­ca­tion let­ters are a fur­ther bur­den to us given the fact that we’re al­ready strug­gling due to un­em­ploy­ment. We’re al­ready pay­ing be­tween $60 and $100 for our tran­scripts de­pend­ing on the nurs­ing in­sti­tu­tion. Some in­sti­tu­tions re­quire that we pro­duce two tran­scripts, mean­ing we pay dou­ble. We also pay about $60 to re­gional nurses bod­ies when we ap­ply for jobs,” he said.

A com­ment could not be ob­tained from NCZ yes­ter­day.

But The Chron­i­cle is in pos­ses­sion of a let­ter from South Africa Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Au­thor­ity (SAQA) de­mand­ing the NCZ let­ter from a Zim­bab­wean nurse seek­ing em­ploy­ment.

“With re­gards to the NCZ, SAQA is un­able to ob­tain a re­sponse due to ver­i­fi­ca­tion pay­ment that needs to be made . . . In light of the above men­tioned and due to time con­straints kindly pay the ver­i­fi­ca­tion costs and have the in­sti­tu­tion send the ver­i­fi­ca­tion re­sults di­rect to us,” reads the let­ter.

AN NCZ coun­cil mem­ber, Mrs Miriam Mangeya, de­clined to com­ment.

“I’m not the reg­is­trar or the chair­per­son of the NCZ. You’ll need to talk to them. I’m not very clear of what you’re talk­ing about,” said Mrs Mangeya.

Deputy Min­is­ter of Health and Child Wel­fare Dr Aldrin Musi­iwa said it was nurses’ coun­cil is­sue that does not con­cern the Gov­ern­ment.

“This is a nurses’ coun­cil is­sue and there­fore has noth­ing to do with the Gov­ern­ment. At the mo­ment we’ve posts but we’re in­ca­pac­i­tated to em­ploy, that’s why we de­cided to stop bond­ing them,” said Dr Musi­iwa.

He said he was not aware of the amount be­ing charged for the ver­i­fi­ca­tion let­ters. VICE-PRES­I­DENT Phelekezela Mphoko yes­ter­day took a swipe at the Bu­l­awayo elec­torate, say­ing it was gullible and prone to be­ing swayed by po­lit­i­cal whirl­winds.

The VP made the re­marks as he dis­trib­uted an ad­di­tional 2 500 chicks to the Njube com­mu­nity in Bu­l­awayo.

He said fly-by-night po­lit­i­cal par­ties have turned the city into their launch pad, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the credulity of res­i­dents.

“Any politi­cian who wants to launch his or her po­lit­i­cal party has a ten­dency of com­ing to Bu­l­awayo first. We’ve the likes of (Messrs) Simba Makoni, Tendai Biti, Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai, Acie Lu­mumba and oth­ers who have turned this city into their play­ground be­cause they know you’re eas­ily car­ried away. In fact, they think you can­not do any­thing on your own,” he said.

VP Mphoko warned Bu­l­awayo res­i­dents against fall­ing into a trap of po­lit­i­cal par­ties bent on re­vers­ing the gains of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle.

“Peo­ple of Bu­l­awayo fall prey to any­one who comes here to de­ceive them. They for­get that this is a royal city. Don’t be gullible to non-trace­able par­ties,” he said.

VP Mphoko blasted po­lit­i­cal ri­vals query­ing his war cre­den­tials, say­ing their aim was to tar­nish his im­age.

“I’m aware that there are some peo­ple who go around say­ing I didn’t par­tic­i­pate in the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. I left the coun­try to join the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle on April 4, 1964, and re­turned on Jan­uary 13, 1980, to­gether with the late Vice-Pres­i­dent Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. I worked along­side vet­er­ans such as Cde Am­brose Mutin­hiri and we were Zipra com­man­ders,” he said.

VP Mphoko urged Zim­bab­weans not to shun their coun­try, say­ing such ac­tion was tan­ta­mount to un­der­min­ing the sac­ri­fices made by gal­lant sons and daugh­ters who died to lib­er­ate the coun­try from colo­nial­ism.

“We should work for this coun­try in­stead of go­ing to Europe and other neigh­bour­ing coun­tries leav­ing Zim­babwe at the mercy of for­eign­ers who come and do busi­ness here,” he said.

VP Mphoko said the on-go­ing poul­try pro­gramme was aimed at re­duc­ing poverty and bring­ing de­vel­op­ment to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“It’s our duty as lead­er­ship to make sure that com­mu­ni­ties are em­pow­ered. We’re do­nat­ing these chicks be­cause we want to eco­nom­i­cally em­power our com­mu­ni­ties through this in­come-gen­er­at­ing project. I’m not ex­pect­ing to get com­mis­sion from this project but we’re sim­ply as­sist­ing our peo­ple to im­prove their liveli­hoods,” he said.

The chicks are part of the poul­try project the VP un­veiled last month. The pro­gramme which is an­chored on the coun­try’s eco­nomic blue­print, Zim-As­set, seeks to em­power com­mu­ni­ties through util­is­ing lo­cal re­sources.

VP Mphoko warned res­i­dents against un­ruly el­e­ments who he said were try­ing to sab­o­tage the project. The project is set to spread to ev­ery part of the coun­try.

Mem­ber of the House of Assem­bly for Loben­gula con­stituency Cde Maidei Mpala thanked the VP for em­pow­er­ing her con­stituency. She urged the res­i­dents to em­brace the project and work hard.

VP Mphoko will next Sun­day do­nate another batch of chicks to res­i­dents in the same con­stituency. The chicks were sourced from com­mer­cial farmer Mr Peter Cun­ning­ham who owns Maleme Farm in Ma­tobo.

Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko presents a do­na­tion of day-old chicks to mem­bers of the Njube com­mu­nity in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day

Stu­dent nurses at a Mpilo Cen­tral Hos­pi­tal grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony in this file photo

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