Zimbabwe Nurses Return to Work After Strike    

Around 16,000 nurses in Zimbabwe resumed work Monday, bringing to an end one week of strikes that affected health services in the country.

Zimbabwe’s health ministry said the situation had “returned to normal” in all hospitals.

“The majority of nurses dismissed have applied for re-engagement, and the government has permitted them to resume duty, pending final approval from the employer,” the health ministry public relations office in Harare said Monday.

Strike lasts week

The nurses went on strike a week ago to press demands for improved allowances and an irregular salary grading system, its union said.

Many of Zimbabwe’s nurses operate in poorly equipped state-run institutions, and patients are expected to supply basics such as drugs and equipment.

Since taking charge of Zimbabwe late last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to improve the beleaguered economy and seek foreign investment to improve public services.

Nurses offer free treatment

The nurses were fired last week by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who said they refused to go back to work after $17 million was released to improve their pay.

Hundreds of the nurses offered free treatment to the public in the country’s parliament to protest their dismissal Friday.

Zimbabwe’s government said at the time that the decision would not be reversed and ordered heads of hospitals to recruit new nurses to replace those who were sacked.

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