The government has been accused of neglecting municipal health workers despite making promises to take care of their remuneration.
Workers in the Harare City Council’s health department and those seconded hotspots have not been receiving allowances for the past three months, while staff seconded from the rapid response team of the municipality’s fire brigade section is yet to receive their money
In an interview with a local publication, Harare Acting Mayor Stewart Mutizwa said the COVID-19 response funding was coming from the government hence they are still waiting for the workers to get paid.
“They last paid workers about three months ago. It is our anticipation that we pay them and it is the rest of the team which is affected; it is not only those from the rapid response team,” said Mutizwa.
The affected workers said it was unfair for them to continue working and risking their lives for nothing.
“We are responsible for testing all government officials, ministries and the general public, but we are not receiving COVID-19 allowances. There are some of us who are working under the city health department, who are getting all the allowances, but we are not getting anything.
“We have tried all we could, but nothing is happening. We have been there since COVID-19 started and it is painful that we are neglected just like that,” an employee, who requested anonymity, said.
This comes after the government recently announced that they were taking charge of the salary crisis for Harare and Chitungwiza councils.
Briefing the media during a post-cabinet briefing, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said the two Municipalities have not been able to account for financial resources availed by Treasury towards the COVID-19 response.
“Cabinet directed that nursing staff in the two municipalities be placed under the Public Service Commission and be paid through the Salary Service Bureau. Risk allowances for the affected workers will also be paid,” she said.
Mutsvangwa said that the Cabinet tasked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to ensure that the municipalities fully account for the resources allocated to them as part of the country’s COVID-19 response.
Meanwhile, council clinics continue to get understaffed as more and more health workers leave for greener pastures.