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Zimbabwe nurses union end ‘politicised’ strike

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Retired Commander of Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) General Constatino Chiwenga reacts after taking an oath of office as Vice President. reuters

HARARE, (Reuters) – Zimbabwean nurses have called off a strike against poor working conditions and will return to work today, a nurses union said yesterday.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga last week announced the sacking of 16,000 striking nurses, accusing them of a “politically motivated” walkout.

Zimbabwe National Union (ZINA) said on Saturday that the strike by its members had become “politicized”.

“To pave way for the re-opening of negotiations and protection of our workers, we have decided to call off the industrial action,” ZINA said in a statement, calling on its members to report for duty by Monday.

The union said it had filed a court application to force the government to reverse its decision to fire the nurses.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is seeking to keep a lid on labour unrest in the build-up to the first elections since the fall of Robert Mugabe.

The elections, which will pit Mr Mnangagwa against several opposition candidates, are set for July.

The nurses strike came days after junior doctors wrapped up a month-long walkout over pay and working conditions.

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