Corruption: Aspiring nurses forced to pay US$2000 bribes

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By Anna Chibamu

HEALTH Minister Obadiah Moyo, Wednesday admitted to unfair recruiting practices and corruption amid reports aspiring nurses were being forced to part with as much as US$2000 to get a place to be trained at different institutions across the country.

After being grilled by MPs in the National Assembly during the question and answer session, Moyo told Parliamentarians that corruption was so rampant with cartels emerging masquerading as ‘recruiting agents’ on behalf of the government.

“Yes, corruption was there before we introduced the e-recruiting system. Then, recruits were forced to pay US$2000 to fake agents. We do not have agents.

“Do not be cheated. We have to fight corruption,” said Moyo.

He was however interjected by opposition Zengeza West lawmaker Job Sikhala who accused the Minister of corruption.

“Is the minister telling the truth? This man is corrupt. He had a committee full of CIOs. He is the most corrupt person, this man,” Sikhala said.

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda cautioned Sikhala for the allegations and ordered Moyo not to respond to his questions.

The accusations were however supported by MDC Chief Whip Prosper Mutseyami.

“Minister, your e-recruiting system is not working. Recruits are paying US$2000 to some of your staff. The system is elitist. Those in rural areas have no access to computers and internet,” said Mutseyami.

Another MP, Kucaca Phulu of Nkulumane constituency argued the people of Matabeleland have been given a raw deal in nurse recruiting.

Moyo however made it clear that government would not go back to the manual system but urged MPs to learn to move with time.

“We have a whole Ministry of Information Communication Technology. We have to move with time. ICT centres are available countrywide,” added Moyo.

“We are still advertising in the press but we are not going back to the old system,” Moyo argued, drawing criticism from the MDC MPs.