On the eve of Zimbabwe's 38th independence anniversary, the government has discharged all nurses that were participating in a strike demanding payment of allowances and restructuring of the salary scale.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who dismissed the nurses in his role as the supervisor of the social services cluster said the continued strike by the nurses was unfortunate since earlier meetings have been held between the government and nurses' association over the matter.
The Zimbabwe government has sacked all striking nurses at public hospitals after they turned down a government offer of 17.1 million US dollars to improve their pay.
"Government now regards this lack of remorse as politically motivated and thus as going beyond conditions of service and worker welfare".
He did not eleborate which political group he thought was behind the strike.
The Zimbabwe Nurses Association ZNA, which has more than 16,000 members, said government negotiators had tried Sunday to avert the strike by promising to pay arrears but nurses decided nevertheless to go on strike.
Chiwenga noted that the government has instructed the HSB to engage all unemployed but trained nurses in Zimbabwe, who are expected to replace the fired nurses.
The industrial action by the nurses follows a similar one by their senior colleague doctors that lasted for a month.
The Zimbabwe Teachers Union, which itself has threatened to go on strike next month over poor pay, said the government should rescind its "inhuman and unilateral decision". Its maternity wards were the most affected, a doctor at the hospital said.
Mnangagwa will stand in elections set for July against a revitalized opposition Movement for Democratic Change party led by 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa. Cash shortages mean banks are forced to limit withdrawals, unemployment remains above 80 percent and the government still struggles to pay workers on time.