Govt suspends nurse training amid corruption allegations

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By Alois Vinga

GOVERNMENT has suspended the recruitment of trainee nurses amid reports that top hospital officials have for years been demanding bribes for prospective nurses to secure training places.

In an interview with, Health Ministry’s permanent secretary Doctor Gerald Gwinji confirmed the development, saying it move was temporary and aimed at restructuring the programme.

“This is a temporary measure that we have put in place to suspend recruitment for candidates coming for this training in May 2019 and September 2019 going forward.

“We want to fine tune our recruitment policy and processes so that they become standard and therefore we will be communicating the way forward by end of January next year,” he said.

The development comes at a time when allegations have been levelled against top hospital and government officials responsible for the recruitment exercises.

The government is also implementing austerity measures in a bid to cut its wage bill which has been taking up close to 90 percent of revenues.

Gwinji however, insisted that the suspension was not linked to the corruption allegations or the cost-cutting measures.

“We are not stopping training; there will still be a May 2019 training. So, the resources issue is not relevant here,” he said.

“We are looking at a number of issues here including geographical equity, quality and suitability of the student etc as well as fairness and equal opportunity to train.”