Thursday, February 22, 2018

Aspiring nurses sue Parirenyatwa over training

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TWENTY aspiring nurses from Bonda Mission Hospital in Manicaland Province have taken Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa to court challenging his decision to nullify their training programme at the institution.

Regina Mutasa and 19 others filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court last Friday after hospital officials abruptly terminated their training programme under "unclear circumstances".

In the application, the aspiring nurses cited Parirenyatwa, Bonda Mission Hospital and Manicaland Province medical director, Patron Mafaune, as respondents. The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

"This is an urgent chamber application to have the purported cancellation/termination of recruitment for registered general nurse training with the respondents set aside and the first, second and third respondents ordered to reinstate the applicants and stop interfering with applicants' recruitment and studies, which commenced on January 18, 2018," the students said.

"The applicants are also seeking to stop the first respondent (Parirenyatwa) from advertising and recruiting new trainees in their place as is happening now.

"The sudden cancellation of our contracts without giving any reasons or notice or allowing us to make representations is a clear and blatant violation of the Administration of Justice Act. The decision to cancel was itself grossly unreasonable and negates our legitimate expectations and natural justice. It is also a breach of the Labour Act as well as Section 56 (1) and (5) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe."

In her founding affidavit Mutasa and her co-students said they went through interviews in July 2016, before being successfully admitted to the institution for studies that were scheduled to start on January 8, this year.

She said they all paid fees in terms of the demands listed by the institution.

"Our admission and studies were, however, suddenly, unexpectedly, unilaterally and unlawfully terminated by the first and third respondents without justifiable reasons or explanations … the purported cancellation was done without proper procedure being followed. I maintain that our admission was above board. Even if the respondents were to claim that our admissions were not above board, which is denied, it is submitted that as we had been admitted and already commenced our training programme, we were entitled to be heard regarding any decision affecting our continued training," Mutasa said.

The aspiring nurses also said Mafaune indicated to them that without her influence, power and input their efforts would be a waste of time.

"We have no other readily available meaningful remedy considering the circumstances of the matter. For reasons best known to the first respondent, he has shrugged off any talks with us or an approach from us," Mutasa said, adding they had already lost time and resources as a result of the inconvenience.

"We, hereby, approach this honourable court to have the cancellation of our training as nurses be set aside and that we be forthwith reinstated unconditionally."