Govt Fires Nurses Union President

Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) president Robert Emmanuel Chiduku has been dismissed from the civil service on allegations that he conducted a union meeting at Gweru Provincial Hospital during working hours.

The dismissal follows a disciplinary hearing conducted at the institution on August 5 2022 in which Chiduku attended.

In a letter gleaned by this publication Chiduku was found guilty of seriously breaching his employment contract which is said to have undermined the relationship of trust for a proper functioning of business.

 “I found you guilty of Particular III in terms of Section 4 (a) of Labour (National Employment Code of Conduct) Regulations. S I 15 of 2006 “Any act of conduct or omission inconsistent with the fulfillment of your employment contract” by conducting your Union business during business hours which you did within the premises of your employer without his consent.

“Your conduct is a serious breach of your employment contract and warrants a dismissal under the above cited section as charged. In coming up with the penalty, I took into account your submissions in mitigation of the penalty. I also took into account submission in aggravation by the Complainant, only in regards to this particular charge you are found gutty.

“I also took into account that your improper conduct undermines the business of your employer as he is the national provider of healthcare to the citizenry. The nature of the violation, which to me clearly goes to the root of your employment contract, demonstrates incredible disrespect to the sanctity of your workplace and the critical business thereof.

“Your conduct undermined the relationship of trust which is essential for the proper functioning of business as such it is understood that continued relationship is impossible. On the basis of the disciplinary hearing held, I have no option but to order a summary dismissal with immediate effect,” read the letter.

ZPNU secretary general Douglas Chikobvu described the judgement as vicious and unfair saying they will appeal.

“Today, the government has formally purged Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union president Robert Emmanuel Chiduku. It’s a bad day for trade unionism and the nursing fraternity. Any progressive labour body faces persecution under the regime. This is a bad day for the nurses and trade unionism. We are definitely contesting this by formally appealing against this vicious and unfair verdict,” said Chikobvu

The union has been at loggerheads with the Government over poor wages and working conditions resulting in protests from the health care workers. 

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