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James Maridadi pens open letter to VP Constantine Chiwenga

20 Apr 2018 at 10:27hrs | Views
Dear Sir,

It was with a sense of shock and horror that Zimbabwe read of the your dismissal of 15000 nurses a few days ago. Nurses are the pillars upon which the health sector operates.

In your wisdom or obvious lack of it, you summarily dismissed them at a time when the country is staring the possibility of a cholera outbreak in the eye due to inadequate funding of clean portable drinking water by the government that you are pleased to head.

Provision of portable drinking water to the citizenry by your government is both a moral and constitutional obligation. Here are some interesting points for your kind attention.

1.  Zimbabwe is a  constitutional democracy not a military state. The rule of law is thus supreme and sacrosanct .

2. One of your sworn duties as VP is to uphold the constitution and this is enshrined in section 106 (1).

3. Government nurses are contracted by the Health Services Board and as such you have absolutely no locus standi to negotiate their conditions of service let alone terminate their employment. Even if you had the legal right to to so, how do you suppose the dismissal of 15000 nurses at the core of the country's health delivery would help. The situation at our health institutions is dire and any leader worth his office should seek to engage and pacify instead of being heavy handed, abrasive and confrontational.

4. In any case, the collective job action embarked upon by the nurses is subject to the Labour Act which is protected by the constitution. Section 65  (3) and 65 (4) of the constitution of Zimbabwe refer.

5. The statement you were pleased to issue should thus be dismissed with the contempt it deserves and your government is hereby urged to approach this delicate matter civilly, honestly and with clean hands bearing in mind that any further stand-off has a bearing on the lives of innocent Zimbabweans whose vote in the forthcoming election you have splurged in excess of USD70M to coax. One wonders where you got that money in an economy where industries and the manufacturing sectors are operating at below 35% capacity and 90% of the population is surviving on less than 30 United States cents a day.  Talk of wrong priorities. I digress but the temptation abounds. Will leave it at that as a discussion for another day.

6. Instead of attempting the unconstututional act of dismissing nurses, as VP you must be siezed with the illegal engagement on full time basis of 3000 Youth Officers (by your government) who have neither particular skills or qualifications nor specific job descriptions. They add no value to the country's cause and are in actual fact an unnecessary drain to our overstretched fiscal space.

7. We are supposedly in a new dispensation and the case at hand is a test of your capacity. 

8. Senior Government officials especially VPs must be exemplary in their approach to challenges particularly those that concern people's lives. Hindsight teaches us that impunity, arrogance and heavy handedness are not sustainable. Our history is littered with political carcasses of individuals and families who believed were untouchable, unstoppable and infallible. Don't say you were never warned. 

I rest it here for today.

James Maridadi

Source - James Maridadi
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