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Unemployed and Extorted, Zimbabwean Nurses slams Nursing Council by Idowu Olabode : August 01, 2016, 12:14:40 AM
UNEMPLOYED Zimbabwean nurses seeking employment in foreign countries have slammed the Nurses Council of Zimbabwe (NCZ) for demanding about $150 to process their papers.

The nurses fork out up to $100 for transcripts of their results from training institutions.

They pay an additional $60 to regional institutions when they apply for jobs outside the country.

Fuming nurses told The Chronicle yesterday that the NCZ requirement, which was introduced at the beginning of this year, was extortive.

They said most of the nurses who had secured jobs outside the country had failed to raise the money and had as a result lost an opportunity to fend for their families.

An estimated 3 500 nurses are unemployed in the country following a Government freeze on jobs in the public sector.

The Government recently lifted the bond imposed on nurses to enable them to seek employment outside the country.

However, the unemployed nurses said their quest for employment is being frustrated by NCZ.

“The NCZ introduced a verification letter which we’re supposed to send to countries or institutions that want to employ us.

“The verification letter costs $150 and we don’t even know why we’re paying it and why it’s pegged so high. What is painful is that if you fail to get a job and re-apply elsewhere, you have to pay again,” said one of the nurses.

Another nurse said the NCZ sends the letter directly to prospective employers.

He said the verification letter is one of many requirements that needs money before one is employed.

“The verification letters are a further burden to us given the fact that we’re already struggling due to unemployment. We’re already paying between $60 and $100 for our transcripts depending on the nursing institution. Some institutions require that we produce two transcripts, meaning we pay double. We also pay about $60 to regional nurses bodies when we apply for jobs,” he said.

A comment could not be obtained from NCZ yesterday.

But The Chronicle is in possession of a letter from South Africa Qualifications Authority (SAQA) demanding the NCZ letter from a Zimbabwean nurse seeking employment.

“With regards to the NCZ, SAQA is unable to obtain a response due to verification payment that needs to be made . . . In light of the above mentioned and due to time constraints kindly pay the verification costs and have the institution send the verification results direct to us,” reads the letter.

AN NCZ council member, Mrs Miriam Mangeya, declined to comment.

“I’m not the registrar or the chairperson of the NCZ. You’ll need to talk to them. I’m not very clear of what you’re talking about,” said Mrs Mangeya.

Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr Aldrin Musiiwa said it was nurses’ council issue that does not concern the Government.

“This is a nurses’ council issue and therefore has nothing to do with the Government. At the moment we’ve posts but we’re incapacitated to employ, that’s why we decided to stop bonding them,” said Dr Musiiwa.

He said he was not aware of the amount being charged for the verification letters.

Source : Zimbabwe Chronicle

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