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Kaduna sacks 4,500 ‘incompetent’ teachers as Zimbabwean nurses continue strike

Nurses in Zimbabwe are continuing their strike over pay, on the day the government is starting to rehire nurses after it sacked more than 14,000 for going on strike.

The VP chided nurses for not going back to work "in the interest of saving lives"

The VP chided nurses for not going back to work “in the interest of saving lives”. Photo: AFP

The nurses went on strike on Monday to press demands for the payment of allowances and to protest about new pay grades.

A spokesman for President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the government was recruiting unemployed nurses and recalling retired nurses below the age of 70 who were willing to work.

He said nurses who were sacked could apply for the posts as new employees.

But Enock Dongo, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Nursing Association, told the BBC this just wasn’t viable.

He said the sackings violated the country’s labour laws and so the strike was still on.

We reported yesterday that Zimbabwe’s Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga said that striking workers had refused to return to work despite their outstanding allowances being paid.

But Mr Dongo told the BBC that the nurses had not received any of their demands and all the government had promised is money they already owed in back pay.

Correspondents say a presidential election is just months away and some Zimbabweans see the government’s hardball tactics as a risky move that could alienate voters.

Elsewhere in Nigeria, more than 4,500 newly recruited primary school teachers in Nigeria’s northern state of Kaduna have been sacked for “incompetence”.

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Classes in Nigeria tend to be big, with pupils sometimes sitting on the floor. Photo: AFP

Lawal Danjuma, an aide to the state commissioner of education, told BBC Pidgin:

There is no place for teachers who don’t know how to write simple acceptance letters in our primary schools, sacking them is best for children’s education.”

Kaduna state has just recruited 15,897 teachers after sacking about 22,000 others last year for failing a test set for their six-year-old pupils.

He said the names of those who have just been fired must have been smuggled in during the recruitment process.

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