Zimbabwe: Nurses Saga - Govt Accused of Tribalism

Health Minister Obadiah Moyo.

The government has been accused of perpetuating tribalism through the recruitment of student nurses from outside Matabeleland for training at major hospitals in the region.

Bulawayo residents have been up in arms against the Health and Child Care ministry following revelations that the majority of students nurses recruited by Mpilo Central Hospital and the United Bulawayo Hospitals were from outside Matabeleland.

Zapu, which last month led a protest at Mpilo Hospital over the issue, last week sent a delegation to Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Judith Ncube to discuss the alleged marginalisation of the region.

John Zolani Dlamini, the Zapu organising secretary, led the delegation that held closed door discussions with the minister.

"The government of Zimbabwe must quickly address the problems in the Ministry of Health and the public service as a whole because once children become aware that they are marginalised on tribal grounds it makes them resent the benefiting tribe," Dlamini said.

"In a way this government is fuelling disunity and disharmony among its people."

He said the recent recruitment scandals that hit Mpilo showed that the implementation of devolution of power were long overdue.

"This new dispensation has to show its seriousness by prioritising the full implementation of devolution of power so as to contain and safe guard the peace that prevails in the country, because right now we are sitting on a time a bomb," Dlamini added.

"If things continue like this our security will be under extreme threat."

He also condemned utterances by Information deputy minister Energy Mutodi, who described people from Matabeleland as foreigners on Twitter.

Dlamini charged: "Utterances by Mutodi must be addressed. He labelled people from Matabeleland as foreigners , and yes his statements are complimented by this government's actions. How do you give a job to a foreigner?.

He said the government's silence on the matter meant that it subscribed to Mutodi's views.

Dlamini, however, could not be drawn to comment on the outcome of their meeting with Ncube.

He said the minister was worried about developments at Mpilo Hospital and had since written a letter to Vice-President Kembo Mohadi raising the matter.

Ncube said she could not comment on the matter and advised journalists to set up appointments for interviews at a later date.

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