Saturday, September 18, 2021
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Gaths Mine hospital staff sent on forced leave

Great Zimbabwe Hospital formerly Gaths Mine Hospital
Clayton Shereni

The
staff at Gaths Mine Hospital, which was taken over by Great Zimbabwe University
(GZU) and turned into a Covid-19 isolation center, were recently sent on forced
leave effective July 1, 2020.

The
Matron in Charge and other senior workers were all sent on forced leave and no
communication has been given by the authorities as to when they would be back
to work.

One
of the workers who spoke to TellZim News confirmed being sent on leave but
referred further questions to Doctor Jefferson Makoni, who is said to be the
one in charge of the hospital operations.

“Yes
we have been sent on forced leave starting July 1, 2020 but you can talk to Dr Makoni
he is the one who can tell you what you need to know,” said one of the staff on
condition of anonymity.

Dr
Makoni refused to comment on the matter and directed all questions to SMM
Holdings top management.

SMM
Holdings Human Resources manager Catherine Nyambiya said she didn’t want to comment
on the matter stating that she wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.

“I’m
not authorized to speak to you. I’m not the employer so I won’t give you any
comment, you can go on and write what you want,” said Nyambiya.

Chirandu
Dhlembeu, SMM Holdings CEO refused to comment on the issue saying his workers
have to make use of internal channels of communication.

“My
workers do not come through the newspaper, we have a formal channel of
communication. If there are issues they want to clarify with us they can make
use of that,” said Dhlembeu.

Sources
have however, alleged that the staff which have been sent on leave will not get
any salaries and ruled out any possibility of the workers getting back to work
since GZU had taken over the hospital.  

The
move has been heavily criticized with former mine workers who said that this
will leave the community vulnerable since the hospital was a referral centre
for the Mashava catchment area.

Hundreds
of people in Mashava are at the verge of defaulting their monthly
Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) after the only hospital which was serving the
Mashava community was recently turned into a Covid-19 isolation facility and
the hospital staff sent on unpaid leave.

One
of the hospital workers who is also a victim of the forced leave, spoke to
TellZim News on condition of anonymity and said there are hundreds of former
mine workers, their spouses and children who risk not getting treatment.

“We
have a lot of people on ART and this will leave them vulnerable because they
were collecting their treatment so with the current situation where the
facility now focuses on COVID-19 issues only and turning away locals, this will
turn out nasty if nothing is done to cater for these people,” said the worker.

SMM
Holdings and its employees have been at loggerheads in recent years over unpaid
salaries and wages which date back to 2012 but the company has reportedly gone
bankrupt.

 

 

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