In an unusual turn of events, nurses at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital on Monday publicly apologised to the government for asking for better salaries and personal protective equipment (PPE).
The nurses held a meeting at the hospital premises with Acting Health and Child Care Minister Amon Murwira, Deputy Minister of Health Dr John Mangwiro, Permanent Secretary Dr Jasper Chimedza and Health Services Board (HSB) chair Dr Paulinas Sikhosana.
1 110 out of 1 200 nurses at the hospital reportedly backtracked on their demand to continue with flexible working hours and resolved to resume working according to normal duty rosters.
Two nurses’ representatives, Irvin Makwavarara and Sister Nomatter Dingo, apologised to authorities on behalf of their colleagues for taking the government to court over the issue of flexi-hours. Makwavarara said:
We want to apologise for what has happened. We are not enemies of the State. We are committed to an amicable resolution to problems and we thank you for coming.
We want to apologise for not following the directive given by the Permanent Secretary of Health and Child Care.
We have since returned to normal duty rosters and everyone is reporting for duty normally despite the fact that some have not received the salaries for November.
Nurses went on strike on June 18 demanding higher salaries and allowances, better working conditions and personal protective equipment to protect them from the coronavirus.
Last month, High Court judge Justice Martin Mafusire ruled in favour of nurses when they challenged the unilateral cancellation of the flexible working hours arrangement by the Ministry of Health and Childcare.