By Own Correspondent
Acting Chitungwiza Municipality Health Director Herbert Chirowodza allegedly submitted to the Ministry of Health a cooked list misrepresentating Covid 19 frontliners resulting in some nurses missing out on the allowances.
The alleged mishap resulted in some nurses allowances being misdirected to low grade health auxiliary staff such as pest controllers who pocketed as much ZWL $4500.
A Doctored List.
Chitungwiza Municipality Workers Union (CMWU), spokesperson Ephraim Katsina confirmed that a doctored document had been submitted to the Health Ministry.
“We are aware of the abuse of office by some Health officials and we are not going to stand aside and look.
“We are demanding fairness in dealing with all workers who have and are still working during this lockdown period.
“Anyone caught up in the misappropriation of covid 19 funds should face the wrath of the law,” he said.
Chirowodza bizarrely instructed senior matrons not to enlist nurses on the list submitted to the Ministry of Health which had none health staff personnel guised as nurses.
This resulted in Treasury paying council none-health personnel in the belief that they were indeed Chitungwiza municipality nurses.
CMWU members who preferred anonymity fearing victimisation bemoaned that the majority of nurses missed out on their Covid-19 risk allowances because of the doctored list allegedly fabricated by Chirowodza.
“The obtaining situation on the ground is untenable. Almost all the nurses save for a few missed on the Covid allowance regardless the fact that they have been attending to patients since the disease was reported in March.
“Director of Epidemiology in the ministry of Health and Child Care (Dr Portia Manangazira) requested for names of all Covid frontliners so that they could be paid Government allowances.
“Names were submitted from all the four Council clinics and there was actually a guideline from the ministry, spelling out the grades of all health workers and all the supporting staff and the rates they were to be paid.
“However, when the final list was ready, Mr Chirowodza dropped almost all nurses and this resulted in environmental staff including pest controllers getting allowances meant for nurses,” said the source.
It is said that on Monday, a heated argument erupted between the director and senior matrons who argued that the situation was pointing to nurses downing tools in protest of the issue.
Nurses interviewed by Open Council yesterday confirmed the situation.
“This is utter nonsense my friend, imagine that we do all the consulting duties without PPEs and then only to miss out on the allowances.
“What is more infuriating is that junior staff members like pest controllers and other environment staff got the $4500 meant for nurses. That is not to say they must not get anything, no, they are equally exposed but they must get what they are entitled to get,”said a nurse who identified herself as Chipo.
Another nurse working at Seke North clinic who preferred anonymity accused the acting director of personalizing the health department, saying the same director misappropriated chorela allowances in 2008.
“This Director is personalising the health department. He doesn’t want all medical staff maybe because he is not one. In 2008, he also misappropriated allowances meant for cholera but this time we will fight for what is ours,” she said.