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Workers’ Day call for more and better jobs – Zimbabwe Independent

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema

NO news is good news, so goes the old adage. On International Workers Day, the first of May 2023, that was exactly the news the few remaining Zimbabwean formally employed workers received from none other than the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The ILO said 100 000 Zimbabwean workers lost their jobs in the first quarter of 2023 alone. Equally horrific was the fact that the majority of those remaining in employment were experiencing “working poverty”.

Annamarie Kiaga delivered the sad news to thousands of Zimbabweans gathered at Dzivarasekwa Stadium to commemorate Workers Day.

She is the country director for the ILO office in charge of Zimbabwe and Namibia. She bemoaned the unfolding tragedy of rising unemployment and poor salaries.

The near total absence of safety nets on the barren socio-economic landscape in Zimbabwe transforms the tragedy into one of catastrophic proportions.

Maybe this kind of disaster should be a trigger for the mother body of the ILO, the United Nations (UN) to declare a country’s government as incompetent, and appoint an administrator in its place?

An alternative could be a Technocratic National Reconstruction and Development Authority. The humanitarian move, if backed by substantial international funds, in the quantum of those that bailed out Greece post 2008 global financial crisis, would most certainly save thousands of now anguished lives.

ln the short to medium term toxic effects of the landscape, left to themselves, will take their toll on those that have recently lost their jobs as well as on some still in employment but who find the burden of working poverty unbearable.

 Despair and deadly depression, not to mention suicide are already manifesting themselves in the cohort group. Ironically, Premier Services Medical Investments, once one of the country’s largest care-givers and a wholly owned subsidiary of once blue-chip Public Service Medical Aid Society, later rebranded Premier Services Medical Aid Society — PSMAS, went belly up over the course of 2022 off-loading hundreds of unsuspecting workers onto the barren labour market.

Press reports indicated one of the workers retrenched without benefits committed suicide. And the once blue-chip medical aid society is now a symbol of corruption.

Job creation Sadc’s biggest challenge

Kiaga described the term working poverty as meaning a worker earns US$100 or less a month.

The paltry amount begs debate and validation, as it seems to assume the poor should be porridge eating vegetarians without other basic worldly aspirations like a smart phone, decent clothes, three square meals a day, a roof over one’s head, tapped water in the house, a flushing toilet, and of course, last but not least, self-respect, not to mention respect from a member of the other gender.

The lady called for the “unleashing of significant investment into the creation of jobs. with focus on the green, digital and care economy”.

Across the Zambezi River, President Hakainde Hichilema, or HH as he is fondly called by friend and foe alike, graced May Day celebrations hosted by the Zambian Congress of Trade Union, more or less echoed the call for more investment in job creation, particularly in the IT/digital economy.

He called for the unions to join hands with his administration in its quest to create meaningful jobs, as well as improving the conditions of service for the few lucky enough to be formally employed.

He lamented, however, the huge (by African standards) hard currency denominated sovereign debt drowning the Zambian economy, and whose servicing was swallowing funds that otherwise would have been invested in job creation.

The debt situation is worse, of course, in neighbouring Zimbabwe south of the Zambezi.

The theme of the celebrations in Zambia was “Accelerating job creation for economic growth”. The necessity of prudence in matters fiscal was highlighted by Hichilema.

He castigated the high operational costs of the presidential Gulfstream Executive jet, a favorite toy of some world-class footballers.

He vowed not to use it, adding it should never have been bought.

Hichilema expressed exasperation with his senior civil servants and ministers’ love affair with a top of the range, large and costly SUV produced by Toyota, most likely with the African “Big Man” and his unquenchable extravagance in mind.

In despair, the President pleaded with the unions to join him in combating sloth and corruption in both central and local government offices and affairs. The situation, he lamented, was the same in state-owned enterprises.

 Public debt restructuring, Hichilema further pleaded, needed the full support and involvement of the Unions. The note of despair in Hichilema’s May Day speech points to dark clouds ahead.

The Zimbabwean government representative in Dzivarasekwa, a brave soul, was booed on the stage as he delivered government’s solidarity messsge.

In a year or two, such a fate may overtake Hichilema. In virtually all of Sadc, the writing is on the wall.

The levels of poverty and joblessness in Sadc have reached unacceptable levels. The situation is now a matter of public health, increasing both morbidity and mortality directly and indirectly.

Furthermore, it is driving deadly Afro-phobia in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. At its worst it is triggering armed rebellion, insurgency and insurrection as it has done in Northern Mozambique and Eastern DRC.

A few years ago, the British weekly, The Economist, grouped Zimbabwe among countries “ripe for rebellion” given its dire socio-economic circumstances then. Sure enough, a velvet military coup soon followed. Today the situation is even worse.

All of that besides, poverty and joblessness drive up crime rates, corruption and tax evading, low productivity informality.

In his concluding remarks, HH called on his nation to work hard and teach financial literacy and intolerance to corruption from an early age.

In Harare, Kiaga, apart from urging greater investments into job creation, also called for greater and better policy coordination and coherence. The same, of course, should also apply to multi-lateral agencies, amongst them UN ones.

Rather than block the recruitment of nurses from Zimbabwe by the First World as it did, the World Health Organisation (and GoZ) should have marshaled massive investments into nurse and doctor training in Zimbabwe in a sustainable manner by way of a revolving fund.

Apart from the care economy, where Zimbabwe can supply the global community with tens of thousands of professionals, subject to availability of huge commercially profitable investments in training and training institutions, Zimbabwe has huge reserves of lithium.

Investment in lithium and PGM mining and refining, should make Zimbabwe a major player in the green economy, complete with the heavy-duty lithium batteries and platinum catalytic converters manufacturing in country.

In her prescription for job creation, Kiaga should not have left out the need for infrastructure provision, its repairs and renewals, as well as the upgrade of such essential basics as increasing production and productivity in agriculture, education and healthcare services. These are the starting materials, and the ingredients for the digital economy and sustainable job creation.

Nyandoro is a pharmacist by training. He holds a Pharm (Hon) degree from the University of Zimbabwe.

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UK: Zim health and social care Indaba set for Northampton … – New

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By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWEAN professionals and businesses in the UK’s growing health and social care sector will have an opportunity to network with other players in the industry and learn new trends when they take part in the Health and Social Care Meet and Greet in Northampton on June 17.

The event organised by WS Marketing and Golden Careers Management Ltd will be held at Holiday Inn Rugby Northampton M1 and hosted by presenter Kevin Ncube.

Diaspora Insurance is one of the event’s key partners and will be showcasing their services on the side-lines of the high profile indaba.

Diaspora Insurance specialises in crafting and distributing insurance and risk management solutions tailored to meet diasporans’ needs.


In an interview with, organiser Wilson Mathe said the upcoming Meet and Greet is  aimed at promoting collaboration among health and social care providers in the UK.

“Until all our friends who are in the Health and Social Care Industry in UK get a fair share of the £27 billion plus, we will continue to Meet and Greet and share ideas,” Mathe said.

“Sometimes your break through is just around the corner. That one person at this event may change your entire life. In order to succeed in this industry, you need to associate with the correct people, create new networks, support those in need and deliver whenever possible.

He added: “This is a one of a kind event, aiming at those that may need further support or guidance. Those who are coming, bring your business cards. Bring your company’s marketing material. Be prepared to at least share your journey so far. We create new networking and business opportunities. We will share Healthcare  industry information that may be beneficial to everyone.”

Some of topics which will be discussed during the Meet and Greet event include:

  • CQC and Ofsted Registration process / cash flow projections
  • How to get clients and tenders
  • Immigration and Sponsor license
  • Semi-independent living
  • Complex care
  • What’s in the business of care
  • Women in business
  • Professionalism, boundaries and relationships
  • Business ethics and experience

Headline speakers and resource persons at the Northampton event include Chengetayi Shoko from NHS, managing director of Ultra Healthcare and Ultra Healthjobs Godfrey Mushandu, Pardon Tapfumaneyi of PT Law and Associates, the CEO of Tulia Group Rumbidzai Bvunzawabaya, Gelly Manzira of Valour Healthcare, Simon Chinya of Blur Healthcare Associates, Joyce Kapesa of Joyous Consultancy, as well as the directors of Lime Healthcare.

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UK targets Zimbabwe’s science, maths teachers – Bulawayo24 News

Zimbabwean teachers are in the front row following a call by the United Kingdom for “the very best” overseas teachers to apply for vacancies, sweetened by a £10,000 relocation fee.

The UK is trialling recruiting overseas teachers to fill vacancies, and The Times reports that teachers from Zimbabwe, Ghana, India, Singapore, Jamaica, Nigeria and South Africa are set to benefit as they are considered to have historical education links to Britain.

The UK’s Department for Education has begun to offer “international relocation payments” to overseas physics and language teachers to cover visa and moving expenses.

Officials expect between 300 and 400 teachers to be recruited for the start of the next academic year in September. If the trial is successful, hundreds of maths, science and language teachers are expected to be brought in through this route in the next academic year.

The teachers must have a degree, recognised teacher-training qualifications, at least a year’s experience and the ability to speak English to undergraduate level.

Under current rules, teachers are granted visas to work in Britain if they have a job offer and earn a minimum salary based on their role – usually at least £27,000.

The UK’s Department for Education told the Times: “In March we launched a one-year trial offering no more than 400 of the very best teachers from around the world the opportunity to teach in our schools.

“This is one of many options we are exploring to ensure there is an excellent teacher for every child.”

It comes as teacher numbers across the UK are beginning to fall, with fewer than half the targeted number of trainee secondary teachers due to start this autumn.

Subjects including biology, history, Classics and PE are the only ones on track to meet government targets, according the National Foundation for Educational Research.

An exodus of maths and science teachers would be a new blow to Zimbabwe which has lost thousands of health professionals to the UK in the last year.

New data shows a massive jump in health workers recruited from Zimbabwe between March 2022 and March 2023.

Between March 2021 and March 2022, 2,630 Zimbabwean health workers including doctors, nurses and nurse aides were granted UK visas. This jumped 562 percent between March 2022 and March 2023 as the UK welcomed 14,791 Zimbabwean health professionals.

Zimbabwe is only second to Nigeria, which lost 12,587 health professionals up from 5,009 between March 2021 and March 2022.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now included Nigeria and Zimbabwe in a list of 55 “red flagged” countries from which developed nations have been asked not to hire healthcare workers. The WHO says the red flagged countries have fragile health sectors and need human resources.

The African countries on the list are Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Zambia.

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Govt escalates drug and substance abuse fight; rehab centres for … – New

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By Staff Reporter

GOVERNMENT has upscaled the fight against drug and substance abuse with rehabilitation and psycho-social support centres for survivors soon to be established to ensure their full recovery.

So far, an out-patient rehab and psycho-social support centre has been opened in Harare and similar centres will be set up in other provinces.

Addressing journalists during the fifteenth post Cabinet briefing in Harare Tuesday, Acting Information Minister, Jenfan Muswere said the National Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse chaired by Defence Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri had recommended appointment of a national coordinator to spearhead the response to the scourge in addition to setting up rehabilitation centres countrywide.

“Going forward, a National Coordinator will be appointed to coordinate policies and activities on drug and substance abuse.

“Government will establish rehabilitation and psycho-social support centres for drug and substance abuse survivors in order to ensure full rehabilitation and recovery,” said Muswere.


Cabinet established the National Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse on April 19, 2023 in order to heighten the battle against supply of illicit drug and substance abuse, mostly blamed on rich and politically-connected individuals.

“The nation is being informed that progress recorded to date includes the following: drugs and substances worth Z$438 654 692 were intercepted under Operation Clean-Up Zimbabwe with 6 156 accused persons being arrested and prosecuted across the country.”

Muswere said assessment visits were made to ports of entry and exits to ascertain illegal drug and substance trafficking, while visits to mental health institutions and rehabs were also done to ascertain the impact of the menace.

“As a way forward, a National Plan of Action has since been adopted. Its key components include that the law enforcement units specialised in drug and substance abuse response be decentralised coupled with equipping the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Forensic Laboratories by the end of the second quarter.

“… that seamless sub-national structures and family structures to heighten the response to the drug and substance abuse fight be established by end of

third quarter of 2023 and that multi-sectoral awareness campaigns be conducted to reduce the demand for drugs with religious leaders playing an active role in fighting the scourge through demand reduction.”

Private sector players were also urged to undertake Corporate Social Investment to deal with the drug problem.

The minister reiterated legal frameworks and policies on drug and substance abuse need urgent review and updating.

He said the Cabinet warned all those selling liquor without the requisite licences to desist from doing so while law enforcement agents were jerked to take action against those in defiance of statutes.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to launch the Nation Action Plan on Drug and Substance Abuse on a date to be advised.

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