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Shona nurses recruitment controversy - Mpilo Hospital under siege

by ZimLive
22 Oct 2019 at 11:36hrs | Views
Mpilo Central Hospital's School of Nursing was temporarily shut down on Monday when activists from the opposition party and hundreds of people looking for a career in nursing thronged the institution.

ZAPU is protesting the recruitment of nurses at the institution, which the party says favours students from other provinces.

Previously, hospitals advertised nurse training vacancies and did the recruitment but this year, the government decided to use an online application system and recruitment process which has led to the latest controversy.

A ZAPU delegation led by its national organising secretary, Retired Lieutenant Colonel John Zolane Dlamini met with the Mpilo CEO, Leonard Mabhandi, Clinical Director, Dr Solwayo Ngwenya, and other administrative staff over the recruitment process.

Dlamini inquired what government policy was in place which neglected locals in their own setting and one that institutions such as Mpilo implemented without questioning.

"Why is the government cutting corners because from my experience working in the public sector, there must be equal opportunities to all and this recruitment of nurses is unfair," he said.

Bulawayo's Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube has held discussions with the health ministry over the controversy.

Vice President Kembo Mohadi has also vowed action, telling a rally in Bulawayo last week: "We're not happy and as government we'll address this issue. Government policy is that the recruitment must be done equitably. We don't want bias in that regard. We are going to look into it so that it is rectified."

Mpilo Central Hospital recruited 24 trainee nurses and 20 were reportedly from Harare, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central.

At the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) it was reported that 23 out of the 27 trainees are from outside the southern region made up of Bulawayo, Masvingo, Midlands, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces.

When the row first erupted, the ministry of health added a handful of names of people from the region – seven at Mpilo Central Hospital and three at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).

Among the hundreds that turned up on Monday hoping to be recruited as nurses were people from as far afield as Binga. Most said they unsuccessfully applied for nursing, teaching and other public service jobs yet they were qualified.

Due to the numbers of prospective students who turned up, lessons at the Mpilo Nursing School were temporarily halted with officials citing "safety reasons."

Mpilo CEO Mabhaudi told the ZAPU leaders said they were powerless to influence the process.

"There was no recruitment in January and May following a government policy to freeze nurse training temporarily. Recruitment was previously done at local institutions but then the head office introduced an e–recruitment system that was not handed over to us. We were not managing it as it was managed at head office. That is the policy issue and we as administrators follow and obey our principals," he said.

Mpilo's Clinical Director Ngwenya added: "The list comes from government and I advise that you take this matter with them so you can trace who did this. This was made in Harare and you should trace the one who came up with the idea, since we here have no power.

"We were doing well with our old system but that was taken from us. As ZAPU also consider approaching the presidium such as (Vice President Kembo) Mohadi or (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa and highlight these issues."

Source - ZimLive