Zimbabwean nurses’ unions announced that their members will strike next week to protest at poor salaries and working conditions.

In a letter addressed to the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals by the Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union President Robert Chiduku he said that their members will not show up for duty starting Monday.

“Our members will not be able to turn up for duty starting on Monday, June 20,” he said.

The government and health workers are at an impasse over pay, as inflation in Zimbabwe rose to 131.7% in May. Nurses in Zimbabwe are paid 30,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($79.37) a month, the unions say.

Enock Dongo, head of the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA), said he was mobilising members for the strike, but was waiting to hear a response from the government before declaring that they would join in. However, the government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, striking would further cripple a health sector already understaffed by nurses leaving to work in the West.

Zimbabweans have been losing patience with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, which has promised to end years of economic crisis that started under his predecessor Robert Mugabe. The government blames Western sanctions on some of its officials for the economic crisis.

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