Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa says trained nurses who have so far been unable to get jobs might be sent to South Sudan as that country has approached the Zimbabwean government to second them there.
Mnangagwa regretted the fact that Zimbabwe could not absorb the nurses it had trained because it critically needed their services but did not have the financial resources.
He said discussions between Zimbabwe and South Sudan were “ well advanced”.
“At the end of day, we would want that the products of our institutions be accommodated in our own economy so that we service our own nation. It does not mean that we do not need their services,” Mnangagwa told Parliament last week.
“We critically need their services but because of the constraints of resources in the country and the state of the economy, this is why we cannot absorb all of them.”
There are more than 2 500 unemployed qualified nurses according to the Zimbabwe Nurses Association.
Q & A:
MS. CHINANZVAVANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question was supposed to be directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services and in her absence, I will redirect it to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. What is Government’s policy regarding our nursing graduates who have been sitting idle for the past four or five years after training due to the freeze of posts in nursing staff under the Ministry of Health and Child Care? This is a skilled manpower that may rust after being redundant for a long period of time. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (MS. MUCHINGURI): Mr. Speaker Sir, the question should have been directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. I advise the hon. member to redirect it to the Minister of Health and Child Care. I thank you.
MS. CHINANZVAVANA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. May I redirect it to the Leader of the House? I thank you.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): I understand that the hon. member has asked that some nurses who have qualified have not been absorbed in Government. I think that is true that they have not been absorbed. But, the reason of non-absorption of these qualified nurses is actually a regret to us as Government. Our wish and desire is that as we train them, they should be employed in the respective sectors of their training.
However, as a result of constraints in resources, that is the reason why they have not been absorbed and everything is being done by Government to take them on board. We are aware that some have now been out of employment for perhaps a number of years but everything is being done now that we continuously take some on board as resources become available. Also, I am aware that there are discussions with countries which have approached us like Southern Sudan which has approached us to have nurses seconded to that country. I think that discussion is well advanced and if the Minister of Health and Child Care was here, he would have been able to articulate that position. From that approach, some of them would be absorbed. At the end of day, we would want that the products of our institutions be accommodated in our own economy so that we service our own nation. It does not mean that we do not need their services.
We critically need their services but because of the constraints of resources in the country and the state of the economy, this is why we cannot absorb all of them. I thank you.
MS. CHINANZVAVANA: My supplementary is to seek further clarity on whether they will be re-trained as they have been sitting for five years and this is a specialised skilled manpower. What is the implication on the fiscus that is already strained?
MR. MNANGAGWA: I think she is well versed with the situation. I am sure she will be able to reply to the question. It seems as if she understands very well. Indeed, if there is need for them to be retrained, they will be re-trained if that is the procedure. Personally, I do not know whether that is necessary but she does seem to say, that is necessary. If it is necessary, Government will do that which is necessary. I thank you.