On Monday, the nurses union in Zimbabwe urged nurses to skip work until the government met their ultimatum. They demanded an increase in payroll claiming their salary wasn’t enough to meet needs as the inflation rates were increasing.
The union’s demand came at an unexpected time as the country is dealing with up surging cases of coronavirus. As of now, the country has reported 567 cases and 6 deaths. The increase is great considering last month it was only at 132.
“The reality which any reasonable person will accept is that we are incapacitated from attending work even if we wanted to,” the Zimbabwe Nurses Association said.
“The average $3000 we earn is not sufficient to cover our basic needs without adding the cost required to attend work,” it said.
Amid the corona pandemic, the economy of Zimbabwe has deteriorated. The value of Zimbabwean currency keeps plunging as such the country is experiencing a scarcity of basic supplies. In May, the inflation rates were at 785.6%.
The union said a third of their salary could buy just little household supplies. Meanwhile, a nurse still has to pay bills; rent, school fees, medical bills, and other essentials. It unfortunate those who have cars cannot afford to fill their car tanks. The full cost of petrol exceeds their monthly pay.
On 8th June, the union called upon its members to boycott their jobs until the government increased their pay. However, some nurses did not obey the arrangement. The union urged the employees who were not coming to work to continue and those who were subsidizing the employer by coming to work to stop.
Challenges in the medical field
The government has not addressed the concern. Meanwhile, in Bulawayo, around 12 people succumbed from diarrhea while 100 more hospitalized. The health practitioners in clinics and local hospitals are attending to them.
At the beginning of March, nurses and doctors marched in the streets in demand for adequate protective equipment while handling patients positive for corona. The health officials have been facing numerous challenges in the fight against corona. There is a shortage of drugs, health equipment, and even necessities such as running water.
President promises to end the financial crisis in Zimbabwe
Since getting in power in 2017, the head of state, President Emmerson Mnagangwa promised to improve the economic crisis in the country.
” Our five-year national development plans running up to 2063 will endeavor to achieve an upper-middle-income status by 2030. The need to remain alive to the shocks of drought and the impact of climate change through the necessary social safety nets cannot be overemphasized,” he said.
“We appeal for multilateral support to augment our efforts.”
The president believes that economic reforms like foreign investments will save them from surging poverty and hyperinflation. They are not receiving any external stimulus since he failed to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and African Development Bank due to the withstanding debt.