NURSES at Bindura general hospital, who were Tuesday beaten by anti-riot officers for going on strike, have sent a veiled threat to the police, that might see them and their colleagues across the country retaliating.
Videos of the nurses being chased by baton wielding anti-riot officers surfaced Wednesday, on day three of the mass action, resulting in a public uproar.
One of the female officers caught on camera, could be seen chasing a group of nurses while others shouted “batai” (catch them) in the background, with no regard for the video.
The unidentified officer is said to have gone on to storm wards, beating and threatening nurses on duty as she led the onslaught.
“We hope that police woman will not fall pregnant or sick and make a mistake of seeking medical assistance, not just at Bindura but anywhere else. We have deliberately shared her videos and now await that one day,” said a nurse who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation.
“We hope all these officers will not need us in the future.”
Nurses are on strike since Monday, demanding wages in US dollars and better working conditions.
According to Enock Dongo, the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) president, nurses at the Bindura referral centre did not report for duty Thursday morning in fear of further violence from the police.
Reports from Bindura indicated that the casualty department was manned by the night superintendent, a single nurse and a general hand.
“It is a very unfortunate situation. Today all of the nurses at Bindura hospital stayed at home because they are scared of the violence they witnessed yesterday.
“We never thought it was going to reach this point because we believe our call is genuine,” said ZINA president Enock Dongo.
Most patients at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Sally Mugabe and Mpilo hospitals have been forced to spend hours outside the institutions’ premises as a result of the job action which has been supported by junior doctors and teachers.
Threats, similar to those by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in 2020, have not served their purpose as nurses have continued to abscond work.
On Thursday, a few nurses could be see milling around Parirenyatwa as some chose to stay at home.
According to one of them, the ones who had not come were incapacitated, a word that has been constantly used by most civil servants since their Zimbabwe dollars fell to less than US$100 as a result of rampaging inflation.