ZAPU takes nurses recruitment fight to the courts

ZAPU is set to mount a legal challenge against the controversial recruitment of trainee nurses at health institutions in Matabeleland.

This follows overtures by the opposition party to have the government reverse the recruitment process.

Despite this, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has since released an advertisement saying it has started receiving online applications from aspiring nurses countrywide for the January 2020 intake.

The closing date is November 30, 2019.

The opposition party recently staged a sit-in at Mpilo Hospital after it emerged that the bulk of trainee nurses recruited at training institutions in Matabeleland were dominated by non-locals.

This week, ZAPU, descended on St Anne`s Mission Hospital in Mangwe and temporarily shut down the training school following reports that trainee nurses recruited at the Roman Catholic-run institution were from outside Matabeleland.

The party said it had gathered evidence of discrimination against locals.

“The loudest protestations emanated from the country’s southern region, which felt hard done by the recruitment exercise,” said ZAPU president, Isaac Mabuka at a press conference held at the party offices on Friday.

He said ZAPU had taken upon itself to uphold, protect and implement the country’s constitution in order to include everyone in national processes.

“We cannot continue to watch idly while the government implements corruption instead of devolution. As such our legal team has prepared an urgent high court application against the continued corrupt and illegal implementation of a centralised e-application system against the dictates of constitutional devolution,” said the ZAPU leader.

Mabuka noted that people in Matabeleland felt they had not received their expected fair share of the available training vacancies.

“Citizens claim the e-recruitment system introduced by the health ministry allegedly on the recommendation of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has disadvantaged the region while favouring the northern region. Any employment in local areas must consist of 50 percent of locals be it in Mutare, Hurungwe or Bulawayo,” said the ZAPU leader.

ZAPU Southern Region Communications Director, Patrick Ndlovu, argued the fact that government had released an invitation for e-application despite their contestations was insensitive.

“When we met with Mnister of State for Bulawayo Metroplitan, Judith Ncube, she actually promised to meet with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, having already engaged with Vice President Kembo Mohadi. We haven’t received a response from minister’s office but we warned that if we are unhappy with her response or non-response, we will be going to court,” he said.

“The advert for e-applications also suggest to us that Ncube had no joy with the president. We have allowed the authorities enough time so we will proceed with our court intention. We file our heads of argument on Monday at the High Court.”

Ndlovu said the court application would seek to have local institutions administer the process.

“E-applications are ok but the institutions need to have capacity to run that system, of which in our opinion and from the engagement with authorities they do not have that capacity. This system must be devolved to local institutions,” he insisted.

ZAPU national organiser, John Zolani Dlamini weighed in saying that the Zanu PF government did not believe in engagements, as it was “well known for violence.”

“What they do best is violence, kill people, arrest or detain them plus intimidation. That’s Zanu, hence we have settled for the courts as a last action. Zanu doesn’t want to implement the constitution because they are thieves who want to continue looting, which is the reason why they are reluctant to fully implement devolution,” he alleged.

Dlamini said in terms of the Labour Act, looking at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), discrimination when employing was a crime.

“In this country, there’s discrimination when it comes to employment. Citizens are supposed to be employed on merit, not on the basis of tribe, religion or whatever. But in our country, it is different as government employs on a tribal card. This is against the law but we have evidence and we are now read y to take the government to court,” he said.

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