Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Judith Ncube, is set to engage President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the controversial recruitment of nurses at local hospitals, CITE has learnt.
Mnangagwa is expected in Bulawayo Friday where he will officiate at the 25th National University of Science and Technology (Nust) graduation ceremony.
This engagement was disclosed to ZAPU officials who met the state minister at her office at Mhlahlandlela Government Complex on Wednesday.
After their meeting, ZAPU national organising Secretary John Zolani Dlamini briefed CITE that the purpose of their discussion was to raise concern over the unfair recruitment to training institutions and employment practices which appeared to disadvantage locals.
“In our meeting with the minister, we raised these crucial points and told her as ZAPU, we have a long history of fighting for people’s rights cannot stand by and watch the discriminatory recruitment of students at training institutions and places of employment.
“On which was the recruitment of nurses at Mpilo, as the matter did not sit well with residents of Bulawayo, Matabeleland and part of Midlands. Instead of recruiting locals, they took in outsiders. This was done yet Matabeleland equally has capable qualified children who could have been admitted as well,” he said.
Dlamini, who was in the company of his deputy, Ndodana Moyo, Women’s provincial chair, Jane Mlalazi and southern region communications director, Patrick Ndlovu, told Ncube to undertake an inquiry on the matter.
He added that in her response, the minister also expressed dissatisfaction, noting that she had previously discussed the issue with Vice President, Kembo Mohadi.
“The minister told us she would also talk to President Mnangagwa in the ensuing days about the matter. She said she was hopeful for a satisfying answer from the president,” he said.
Despite their lobbying for the nurses recruitment to be reversed, the ZAPU official, said they had not seen any changes.
“We don’t know when the minister will communicate with the president, whether that will succeed or if the president will understand the anger behind the whole issue,” Dlamini noted.
Zimbabwe is supposed to be implementing devolution of power but Dlamini said it was surprising to hear a minister saying she would engage the president, yet such a policy was in place.
“That is a step backwards because every time something goes wrong, people say ‘we will approach the president’ but this is time to revert to the devolution policy and do what it requires. So when things go awry and the available solution is to talk to the president that does not satisfy us. It seems like games to us,” said the ZAPU organiser, who pointed out the nurses recruitment had to be done afresh.
Another matter of concern that ZAPU raised with Ncube was the alleged corrupt activities taking place within Mpilo Hospital.
According to ZAPU, the party gathered evidence after discovering unfair recruitment practices.
“Corruption is taking place up from those in higher ranks to those in the lower rungs. Individuals who commit corruption would have been fired from other places for the same misdemeanours but end up placed here in Matabeleland at our local institutions. It seems as if Bulawayo and Matabeleland is a dumping place – a bin or a disposal area where corrupt people are placed.
“Look at Mpilo’s Human Resources Officer, we have evidence that those he hired for lower grade jobs – are from Mberengwa. These people were hired on the basis that the one who employed them is from Mberengwa, surely these people paid bribes for them to be recruited,” Dlamini alleged.
“From our knowledge Mpilo is a referral hospital, which means patients referred from Mberengwa are here and are probably treated well than locals since the staff is from Mberengwa and ones who cook. This means those patients are well fed now. But what kind of life is this if we are to employ each other by familiarity and not capability?”
Dlamini highlighted they asked Ncube what she thought of such crookedness, because the party would descend again on Mpilo and act.
“The minister said she was aware of the alleged corruption as she had received the report but asked for time to go through it. We expect her to work on it but I feel sympathy for her since my knowledge of how the Zanu PF government works is terrible. This will be a case of the survival of the fittest and I don’t know how fit the minister is or how she will handle these matters,” said ZAPU’s national organising secretary, who added that Monday next week were supposed to receive feedback from the state minister.