Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) secretary general Douglas Chikobvu says the union’s leadership is facing persecution from authorities at Gweru provincial hospital after they declared incapacitation in June 2022 and have been summoned to appear before a disciplinary committee on August 10, 2022 on allegations of misconduct.
In an interview, Chikobvu said the ZPNU leadership and its members are facing victimisation for declaring incapacitation.
“ZPNU president Robert Chiduku, Douglas Chikobvu ZPNU secretary general and 14 other nurses faces victimisation after going on a national wide incapacitation. Only Gweru hospital has formally charged nurses and are going for hearings on Wednesday 10 August scheduled at Gweru Provincial Hospital.
“As nurses we were compelled to go on incapacitation due to deep seated challenges. We formally forwarded our concerns to our employer Health Services Board and they responded acknowledging receipt of our letter and our demands for a living wage and conditions of service, all protocols were above board. However, we have seen serious machinations; frivolous charges and persecution of ZPNU leadership and a few nurses at Gweru hospital alone.
“We were overwhelmingly compelled to go on incapacitation demanding better tools of trade, a living wage and demanding a better health care. We call on relevant authorities to respect nurses’ genuine demands and address them without unnecessary victimisation as seen at Gweru Hospital,” said Chikobvu
A letter by Gweru Provincial Hospital medical superintendent Dr Fabian Mashingaidze alleges that Chikobvu committed acts of misconduct by absenting himself from work without a reasonable.
“This letter serves to notify you of misconduct charge levelled against you. You are hereby charged in terms of section 4(a) of the Labour (National Employment Code of Conduct). Regulations, Statutory Instrument 15 of 2006(the Code).
“The hospital has a reason to believe that you committed an act of misconduct as defined by section 4 of the Code in that: Contrary to Section 4(a) of the Code, which reads: “any act of conduct or omission inconsistent with the fulfilment of the express or implied conditions of his or her contract”
“Particulars of the Charge You absented yourself from work without leave or reasonable cause for the period exceeding from 21 June to 22 June 2022 (That is a total of 2 days). The effect of your conduct is that the provision of health service and care to patients was seriously undermined,” read part of Mashingaidze’s letter
Health workers have several occasions this year declared incapacitation citing poor wages and working conditions.