By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE opposition Zapu has called for a demonstration on Monday at United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) and Mpilo Nursing Schools to demand that the two institutions enrol trainees from the southern region.
Recently, Mpilo Hospital recruited 24 trainee nurses with 20 of them reportedly from Harare, Mashonaland East and Central provinces.
At the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), it is also reported that 23 out of the 27 trainees are from outside the Southern Region.
“We want to force authorities at the two institutions to abandon lessons until a new batch of trainees from this region are recruited.
“We do not think it is fair for lessons to continue while this issue is unresolved. We cannot have a situation where trainees from the northern regions dominate our training institutions here,” said Patrick Ndlovu, the party’s southern region spokesperson.
Ndlovu said party supporters and other people sympathetic to the cause will stage a sit-in at the two training institutions until their concerns are addressed.
“This is not just a Zapu programme. We are inviting all the people of Bulawayo to join us in expressing our concerns to government on the marginalisation of the Matabeleland region. Zapu has been very vocal about devolution and this is what happens when a country is highly centralised,” the Zapu official told NewZimbabwe.com.
The party’s deputy national organising secretary, Ndodana Moyo scoffed at government‘s threats to punish politicians who “interfere” with health institutions saying the demonstrations will go ahead as planned.
The Ministry of Health on Sunday issued a statement warning politicians and activists against “unsanctioned” visits to hospitals.
“When politicians like (First Lady) Auxillia (Mnangagwa) visit hospitals, it is ok but when politicians from other political parties do the same, raising their concerns, it’s now an issue? Instead of threatening people, the government should simply address this anomaly,” said Moyo.
Last week, the Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan, Judith Ncube called for the nullification of the controversial intake.
“There are people who are trying to de-campaign Zanu PF using the intake of nurses process. For example, only three people from this region were enrolled at UBH, four were recruited at Mpilo with a single person at Tsholotsho hospitals. Everything should be nullified,” said Ncube while briefing Vice President Kembo Mohadi.