AN official for the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) Samson Gurupira has resigned from Sally Mugabe Central Hospital and Health Services Board (HSB) alleging inhumane treatment and victimisation from his superiors.
Gurupira, who was in the psychiatry department, has been repeatedly arrested for standing up for health workers’ rights and last year, languished in prison for demanding for better working conditions.
Along with 10 other nurses, they were arrested for contravening national lockdown regulations after they allegedly gathered at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital to protest over poor salaries and working condition.
“I was arrested last year in June and spent a night in police cells for allegedly leading a demonstration against poor salaries and wages, and lack of personal protective equipment. This arrest was caused by my employer. I was served with three different charges and a suspension letter,” he said.
In his resignation letter dated January 19, Gurupira claimed that due to “constructive discharge tactics” used regularly by the hospital and those who hold higher posts than him, he had been forced to resign.
“When I took my oath and vowed to serve my profession well, I never would have imagined experiencing such inhumane treatment like I have experienced in the last couple of years,” Gurupira said.
“The conditions created by my superiors have become so unbearable, although I am willing to continue to work, I am unable to execute my duties and I also fear for my safety.”
Gurupira said over the past several months, he had tried to highlight the abuse and harassment that was taking place in his department.
“I have been charged on other occasions and when I showed my willingness to have my name cleared through a proper hearing procedure, the charges died a natural death.
“The initial hearing was postponed and when I pushed, the charges were amended until the employer lost interest in pursuing them.
“I already knew that the charges were meant to frustrate me and never intended to be pursued to their logical conclusion. This notwithstanding, I held on to a thin vein of hope that the victimisation would stop. However, things only got worse.”
Gurupira said he was shocked in November 2020, when his name was “unjustifiably” removed from the payroll. This, he said, was a further attempt to frustrate him and in the process incapacitate him to the extent that he would stop reporting for duty.
“I, however, galvanised personal resources and continued to faithfully offer my services. I tried to understand why the employer had decided to act in such an illegal manner. I couldn’t get any meaningful answers for this unlawful conduct,” he said.
Recently, Gurupira, received yet another charge based on alleged utterances that he made on the internet.
“I have already handed my written response on that issue. What worries me is that there is no end to the victimisation that I am receiving at the hands of the chief executive officer who is supposed to be presiding over my case.
“I have no doubt whatsoever that I am no longer wanted. No matter how much I am willing to continue serving, I just cannot force a relationship. I have no power to force the employers to change their negative attitude towards me,” he said.
Zina president Enock Dongo said the way Gurupira had been treated was a clear violation of workers’ rights and clear victimisation as well as lack of respect for the Constitution and democracy by Sally Mugabe Hospital management.
“They want to silence the voices that represent workers and we strongly condemn that and there is need for government to investigate the conduct of that management because they put the whole government into disrepute,” Dongo said.
Hospital authorities were unavailable for comment.