The Sunday Mail
At least 500 Harare City Council nurses are disgruntled over salary and bonus arrears, with the professionals alleging victimisation from the city fathers for demanding their dues.
The Sunday Mail understands that Harare City Council owes its employees, including the nurses, more than $15 million in salary and bonus arrears from as far back as 2015. Last year, representatives of the nurses are said to have been threatened with suspension and dismissal after seeking audience with the city fathers over the outstanding payments.
Some of the representatives who spoke to The Sunday Mail on condition of anonymity fearing victimisation said the working conditions have become unbearable.
“We are now afraid to air our grievances because some of us who tried that before were suspended,” said one of the representatives.
“We are working under harsh conditions with a high nurse-patient ratio, the least they (council executives) can do is to pay our outstanding money, just to appreciate our efforts. They are gallivanting in trendy cars while we suffer.”
Harare City Council corporate communications manager, Mr Michael Chideme said the nurses should not have exposed the issue through the media.
“They should have come to the council first with their grievances and not straight to the media,” he said.
“If they have grievances, there are proper internal mechanisms to resolve this.”
Harare City Council human capital director Mr Cainos Chingombe admitted the local authority owes the medical professionals.
“I confirm that we owe them, together with other employees,” he said.
“The municipality is going through a difficult time. While we are making efforts to pay them, service delivery also needs to be taken care of. In as much as we respect our employees, we also respect service delivery so we are trying to balance the two and so staggered payments is the only way to go.”
Harare City Council has been in several clashes with its employees over unpaid salaries.