By Thandiwe Garusa
STRIKING nurses expressed anger and disappointment Tuesday over recent remarks made by finance minister Mthuli Ncube that there was no crisis in the country, everything is well.
Earlier this month Ncube dismissed claims of an economic crisis saying Zimbabwe was performing well.
Said the minister during an interview with local media; “What crisis? We are performing well. We have put measures in place to fight inflation, people should not panic, everything is in order, zvinhu zvese zvakarongeka (all is well).”
However, addressing nurses during a protest on the second day of their indefinite strike against poor salaries, Secretary for Health Apex Council Lloyd Sarai said they met with government officials Monday to discuss the way forward and nothing meaningful came out.
“Yesterday we met our bosses and they acknowledged that they owe us. Last year through the budget , finance minister announced they had set aside funds to cater for our regrading.
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“We have been pushing to say so where are we now. Yesterday they came and said the money is in the budget and it will be available in July, but there is nothing comrades, it will not do anything.
“I told the officials to go tell the honourable minister kuti asafambe achiganza kuti zvinhu zvakarongeka (he should stop bragging that there is no crisis) because, honestly, how can you say you are on top of the situation, you have a surplus, yet you owe us.
“What does that mean? You are insulting our conscience, you are insulting our intelligence,” he said.
“You cannot tell us things are well yet you cannot pay us what we deserve, this is our money that we should be getting,” Sarai said.
Health workers are demanding salaries in United States dollars.
They have vowed not to go back to work until their demands have been met.