The impasse in the social services sector is of great concern and has potentially grave consequences given the centrality of the services offered by medical sectors employees and leaves the country and citizens vulnerable to diseases and medical conditions that can be averted.
As CiZC we implore government to negotiate in good faith with its employees and always engage in mutual dialogue in resolving labour cases. We remind the state that citizens look towards the government in providing leadership and solving the country’s woes and reiterate that the civil service must be a mutually beneficial space for both the government and its employees.
We are worried that there is an emerging trend where the government is quick to “fire” or dismiss workers in the social services sector as happened when 6 000 nurses were fired earlier in 2018 for engaging in industrial action. It is our view that in dealing with civilian matters such commandist tactics can only worsen the already fragile medical services sector and the continued use of threats only proves government’s incapacity to handle the national crises.
We further urge the government to desist from employing military tactics and coercion to threaten its employees into submission without a review of their working and living conditions. At this hour, we stand in solidarity with other social services sector employees that include teachers, nurses, various ministries and government departments workers in demanding a review of wages and salaries given the erosion of the value of the bondnote.
We call on the government to immediately put in place and implement a short term stabilisation and recovery plan to arrest the economic downturn which has seen worsening levels of poverty among citizens and a total collapse of the social services sector.
We also note with concern spirited efforts and attempts to discredit various employees’ unions as pursuing a political and illegal agenda and warn that the new Zimbabwe that all aspire for has no place for smear campaigns.
We have also followed with keen interest accusations of CSOs plotting to effect an illegal regime change agenda. Attempts to discredit the work of the Coalition and other CSOs that are advocating for a democratic order in Zimbabwe as reported in the Herald and Chronicle remain mere fallacy and as a Coalition we are on record for calling for inclusive national dialogue to resolve the economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe.