By Chitownews Citizen reporters-Jill Mangachena and Mjamaru.
More than two hundred nurses and midwives graduated from Chitungwiza Central Hospital (CCH) last Friday in a ceremony held at the hospital attended by the Chairman of the Health services Board, Dr. Lovemore Mbengeranwa.
The graduates who consist of 100 nurses and 100 midwives face a bleak and uncertain future as they have to find employment outside government, joining an estimated four thousand other health workers who were trained but remain unemployed. This comes after government froze recruitment of health workers in an attempt to slash the civil service salary bill.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, HSB Chairman, Dr. Mbengeranwa, said that the primary role of institutions like CCH was to provide quality health services and train more health workers. He also urged the HSB to engage treasury and ensure vacant posts are filled by the new graduands.
However, people who attended the ceremony criticized government for failing to employ its graduates. Speaking to Chitownews, Mrs. Musakwa from Zengeza 5 questioned the government logic.
“My question is why train a nurse for four years only to release her or him onto the street to job hunt? After four years of training and four years of job hunting they are as good as untrained.” She fumed.
Another resident, Mairosi Makhaya said that there is need to interrogate this phenomenon of unemployed graduates otherwise CCH and other training institutions, like universities and colleges, in Zimbabwe are wasting resources, training people for the street.
“Why continue training people when there is no skills gap? Look at the example of police and soldiers, every recruit is employed after training and when there is no shortage of police and soldiers they do not have intakes”, said Makhaya
A nurse who is resident in Chitungwiza who refused to be named called on government to prioritize those already trained but unemployed:
“They should channel those resources into employing those already trained but unemployed”, he said.
However some residents who attended the ceremony were ecstatic after witnessing friends and family members graduating.
Prince Mutasa fom Zengeza 3 in a whatsapp discussion on the Chitownews group argued with those suggesting that CCH should stop training nurses because they would not find employment:
“Are you saying that they should be no further training of thousands of secondary school graduates being churned every year from schools until those who have graduated have been employed?”,asked Mutasa