Latest on Vice President Chiwenga and nurses row, hearing date set


High Court judge Justice Amy Tsanga is tomorrow expected to preside over an urgent chamber application filed by members of the Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association (Zina), who are seeking nullification of their summary dismissal by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga following an industrial action last week.

On Friday last week, Zina approached the court for recourse, arguing that Chiwenga had no authority to terminate their employment contracts.

The nurses, who are represented by Kantor and Immerman, cited the Health Services Board, Health minister David Parirenyatwa and Chiwenga as respondents.

Zina secretary-general Enock Dongo filed his founding affidavit giving a chronology of events which led to their expulsion by the Vice-President.

“On April 17, 2018, we met with the respondents (Health Services Board, Health and Child Care minister Parirenyatwa, and Chiwenga) at the third respondent’s (Chiwenga) offices. Instead of engaging us, the third respondent threatened the leadership of the first applicant (Zina) with violence and ejected the first applicant’s president and secretary-general from the meeting,” he said.

“. . . In terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the applicants have the right to be heard prior to an administrative decision affecting them being made,” Dongo said, adding “. . . the third respondent is not the applicant’s employer. He is not party to the employment relationship between the applicants and the first respondent. He does not have the power at law to hire or fire nurses.”

According to Dongo, prior to their “purported dismissal”, Zina had raised their grievances with the HSB, following which a meeting with the Vice President was organised with a view to resolve the issues, among them poor working conditions.

“We lack the essential tools of trade and we are exposed to diseases,” he said.

Meanwhile, the situation has returned to normalcy at most public hospitals, including Parirenyatwa Group, Harare Central and Chitungwiza Central hospitals after nurses resumed duties on Saturday.

– NewsDay

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