Is Zimbabwe going to be importing nurses from neighbouring countries to keep health services running in the country?

On Wednesday, the government said it had sacked 16,000 nurses who had gone on strike to protest unpaid wages.

Zimbabwe’s Vice President Constantino Chiwenga accused the nurses of staging a “politically motivated” walkout.

Apparently, the government seemed to have it all planned out. Chiwenga said the nurses would be replaced by retired and unemployed staff.

The nurses’ union told its members to stay calm as it considered its response.

Also Read: Federal Health Workers Begin Nationwide Strike 

The nurses went on strike on Monday over unpaid allowances and other issues, leaving hospitals understaffed. The action came days after junior doctors wrapped up a month-long walkout over pay and working conditions.

The government seems to have become fed up with the unrelenting labour disputes as Chiwenga lamented the nurses had rejected a $17 million offer to clear wage arrears.

“Government now regards this lack of remorse as politically motivated, and thus going beyond concerns of conditions of services and worker welfare,” said Chiwenga late on Tuesday.

“Accordingly, government has decided, in the interest of patients and of saving lives, to discharge all the striking nurses with immediate effect.”

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