By Leopold Munhende
OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) President Nelson Chamisa has described Zimbabwe as the world’s new factory for much-needed skills while it remains a shell marred by unending problems.
Chamisa, who was speaking to journalists in Harare on Thursday, gave a detailed account of how teachers, nurses, and doctors were leaving the country in droves as a result of little investment into their sectors by the government.
Tens of thousands of nurses, doctors, and teachers have resigned from their posts for better-paying jobs mainly in Europe, America, Canada, Australia, and other African countries.
The skills flight forced acting Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga to write to the United Nations (UN) last year, demanding that countries that take in Zimbabwe’s skilled personnel pay the government.
His demands were not entertained, and thousands continue to flee their jobs for greener pastures abroad.
“Our present economic dashboard provides a very sad story, our economic situation is characterised by runaway inflation caused by a runaway national budget,” said Chamisa.
“The massive wage compression has to be highlighted; the workers are now in a state of poverty. Look at teachers, in 2018 they were getting about US$540, right now they get about US$200 and of course some RTGS dollars.
“You can see that the education sector is in the graveyard, you can see that we have death traps even in hospitals. They have no adequate staff, and no medicines. The sector has been hit by a massive brain drain.
“We are losing our teachers and nurses, we have in fact as Zimbabwe become a factory of the best brains, but we have also become a shell of those brains because we have a net loss.”
The lowest-paid health worker in The United Kingdom (UK) takes home £1,393.38 every month, more than ten times the salary of a nurse in Zimbabwe.
Mid-level teachers take home between £25,714 and £36,961 annually.