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Nurses denied access to US$ bonuses due to lack of forex accounts

Some medical professionals did not benefit from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s US dollar bonus facility because they do not have foreign currency accounts, the Health Ministry confirmed.

On Wednesday, civil servants started receiving their 13th cheque in US dollars capped at US$700, with those earning above the limit set to receive the balance in local currency.

But some workers were left frustrated after having to spend the whole day at banks due long queues and crowds that undermined Covid-19 regulations.

A memo dated December 1, from the Health and Child Care Ministry human resources director Edson Mundenda addressed to hospital chief executives confirmed some members did not receive their bonuses in US$ but blamed them for not having forex accounts.

“Please be advised that bonus payment for 2021 started with effect from November 30, 2021. However, it has been noted that some members did not have nostro accounts and their money was credited into their Zimdollar accounts or the money was still in suspense accounts,” Mundenda said in a letter addressed to the chief executive officers of Parirenyatwa, Mpilo, Sally Mugabe, United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), Ingutsheni and Chitungwiza hospitals and was copied to provincial medical directors.

“The members must verify with their banks so that the money will be transferred from Zimdollar accounts to nostro accounts or their nostro accounts be activated.”

Zimbabwe Nurses Association (Zina) president Enock Dongo accused the Health Services Board (HSB) of failing to engage medical practitioners to hear their grievances.

“We are not sure what is happening and the challenge is that the ministry is not willing to engage with health workers. We don’t have any information on how this is going to be rectified.

“Government has played its part, but the component which is missing is that of engagement. The efforts of the government are being pulled down by the ministry and the Health Services Board (HSB). This is a big demotivator; there is a lot of disgruntlement among health workers,” Dongo said.

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