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Govt duped nurses millions of US$ – claims ZINA; Health ministry withholding Certificates of Good Standing

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By Staff Reporter


THOUSANDS of registered nurses who paid applications for the Certificate of Good Standing and Confirmation letters to the Nurses Council of Zimbabwe in the past two years could have been ‘duped’ of US$3.4 million, Parliament heard.

The letters termed ‘verifications’ from the Zimbabwe Nurses Council confirm a nurse has completed a diploma course and are filed in work applications outside Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) members who met a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health said nurses paid US$300 each to the Nurses Council of Zimbabwe in 2020 but never received the letters.

“A lot of nurses have paid verification fees but are yet to receive the letters since 2020.

“They paid USD300 each but nothing has materialised. Three quarters of nurses in this building today have written the English test and are just waiting for the verifications.

“Once they get that document, they are leaving Zimbabwe,” Lucas Sharara, ZINA Harare chairperson said.

Sharara added, “the Nurses Council was issuing the document but we are being told the verifications were transferred from the Nurses Council to the Health ministry’s head office.

“We are not sure what is really happening because it seems the Nurses Council is now being controlled by the Health ministry.”

The nurses’ representative body revealed that between 11000 and 11600 nurses paid for verifications in the past two years.

“The government continues to receive payment for verifications.

“Why is the Nurses Council taking our money when it is aware that we are not going to get the verifications from the Health ministry?

“May Parliament find out why the government is collecting our money. We need to be well informed,” said another nurse.

Health committee chairperson Ruth Labode urged the nurses to write to Parliament, assuming the money could have been abused.

Nurses are earning a mere 45 000 RTGS before allowances and the verifications would enable them to work outside the country in the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia.

The USD component being paid to nurses in public health institutions is a Covid-19 and donor allowance respectively which, according to ZINA, can be withdrawn any time by the government.

The Nurses Council of Zimbabwe has also been accused of charging USD50 for the diploma certificate collection.