Govt summons dozens of nurses for disciplinary tribunals over work boycott

ZIMBABWEAN authorities on Thursday 5 November 2020 summoned dozens of nurses in Bulawayo to appear before a disciplinary tribunal to answer to charges of misconduct for allegedly failing to report for duty after government re-introduced longer working hours for the medical practitioners.

Zimbabwe health workers protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe July 6, 2020.

At United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH), the first group of 44 nurses
represented by Jabulani Mhlanga and Prisca Dube of Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights will appear before the disciplinary tribunal on
Thursday 5 November 2020.

In a letter written to the nurses, UBH Acting Chief Executive Officer
Dr Narcisius Dzvanga alleged that the nurses, who were suspended on
Friday 30 October 2020, committed acts of misconduct by failing to
obey a lawful instruction by not reporting for duty after being
notified to stop the flexible working hours and resume working for the
normal 40 hours per week.

Dzvanga charged that through their alleged misconduct, the nurses had
breached section 4 of the Labour (National Employment Code of Conduct)
Regulations, Statutory Instrument 15 of 2006.

The nurses were suspended from duty without salaries and advised to
stop reporting for work as doing so would enable them interfere with
some unnamed witnesses.

Nurses have for several months been reporting for duty at short
working hours per week to compensate for their poor salaries. However,
government recently discarded the flexible working regime and
increased duty hours for the nurses to 40 per week.

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