Gvnt takes over payment of council nurses

Staff Reporter

Government has resolved to take over payment of salaries and allowances for nurses and other health personnel from Chitungwiza Municipality and Harare City Council after the two MDC-Alliance-led councils failed to pay them, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said this while addressing the media during the 25th Post Cabinet Press Briefing in Harare yesterday.

The Minister revealed that the nursing staff will be placed under the Public Service Commission and will be paid through the Salary Service Bureau and will have their risk allowances paid by the Government as well.

“Cabinet noted with concern the failure by Chitungwiza Municipality and Harare City Council to pay nurses and other health personnel, resulting in a reduction in service delivery. 

The two Municipalities have also been unable to account for financial resources availed by Treasury towards the COVID-19 response.  Cabinet directed that nursing staff in the two municipalities be placed under the Public Service Commission and be paid through the Salary Service Bureau. 

“Risk allowances for the affected workers will also be paid.   Cabinet also tasked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that the municipalities account fully for the resources that they were allocated as part of the country’s COVID-19 response,” said the Minister.

The MDC-Alliance led councils are known for corruption and abuse of council funds which has led to poor service delivery. Although the number of infections decreased slightly, with a total of 14 275 cases being recorded during the week under review, compared to the 21 346 cases recorded the previous week, Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet was urging citizens to be vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This is in view of compelling evidence that vaccination reduces the need for hospitalization and also reduces infection rates and deaths,” she said.

As of 26 July 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 99 944, with 67 827 recoveries and 3 173 deaths.  The recovery rate stood at 67%, with 98% of cases being attributed to local transmission.  Active cases were 28 944.

Meanwhile the Government is ramping up the supply of oxygen and other critical provisions at designated health institutions throughout the country. 

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has established a prepayment facility with a local gas supplier to ensure constant availability of oxygen.  On that note, Minister Mutsvangwa revealed that the Treasury has released ZW$100 million for the purchase of oxygen.

Cabinet resolved that the Level 4 lockdown measures remain in force.