SWADNU: We won't vote in 2013 elections
NHLANGANO - Nurses who are members of the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) will not participate in next year’s national general elections.
This was disclosed by Bheki Ephraim Mamba, SWADNU President, on Saturday during the International Nurses Day celebrations held at the Nhlangano High Praise Assembly International Church.
Mamba said SWADNU was a member of the deregistered Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) and the resolution to boycott the elections was taken in one of the conferences.
"In our registered giant federation in the country, the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland, we unanimously resolved that we will not participate in the oncoming undemocratic national elections. It is our view that for 37 years the country was subjected to this system after the repeal of the 1968 constitution and thus we have not made any meaningful economic developments. Therefore, it is by no mistake that we find ourselves in the situation that we are in today," Mamba said.
He said they demand a system that will recognise and increase public participation in decision making.
"A system where the poisonous Circular No. 1 can be removed. It is in that system where we can talk to bring Tibiyo to the public revenue and public servants will start to receive salary increments and reviews," said Mamba.
He also lobbied nurses to continue questioning who was benefiting as a result of the the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT).
"We have not been told of additional services that will be funded out of this system.
Why should we allow increases in fuel, food prices and electricity when on the other hand we are heavily exposed to high taxation through VAT?" asked Mamba.
New campaign launched
NHLANGANO - A campaign du-bbed ‘Improving Professional Image’ was also launched during the International Nurses Day celebrations on Saturday.
Nkosinathi Kunene, SWADNU Secretary General, said the campaign was founded on the organisation’s values and objectives, and was inspired by the analysis of the growing challenges and negatives to the image of the nursing profession.
"As SWADNU we are taking it upon ourselves to change the image of the noble nursing profession and up-lift the standards of the unique nursing services we render for the benefit of the public, consumers of the nursing services. We believe this is the beginning of the roadmap which will make us influence and actively participate in the re-designing of our professional image even deep into the crust of the Swazi society," Kunene said.
... president praises TB Hospital nurses
NHLANGANO-Bheki Ephraim Mamba, SWADNU President, also praised nurses from the TB Hospital and Hlatikhulu Government Hospital for bringing forward the issue of infection control.
He said the nurses at the Hlatikhulu Government hospital were right to refuse to enter a ward due to the unavailability of protective masks.
"I salute nurses from the TB Hospital who have courageously raised the serious debate on the issues of infection control. We have noted that this issue has been politicised with some judges issuing judgments that they themselves do not believe in. Today so many organisations are busy working on proposals to make money out of that," he said.
Mamba said the World Health Organisation’s technical report alluded to the gaps on infection control in the facility.
"The team has strongly recommended that the mechanical ventilation system must be operational before this winter season. The team further observed that there are broken doors, windows and lack of policies which compromise infection control.
"Our oath that all of us take has never and it will never pronounce itself to say we must risk our lives at the expense of the patient. We must not make our families to constantly suffer as a result of some decisions," Mamba said.
Meanwhile, Sipho Kunene, speaking on behalf of the deregistered TUCOSWA, said they will engage government on talks regarding the protection and welfare of nurses in the country.
Kunene called upon nurses to speak in one voice and said unity was strength. He also told nurses that TUCOSWA was available and continuing with its duties.
"As TUCOSWA we advise you to speak in one voice through your organisation, SWADNU, because unity is strength. SWADNU’s executive should listen to ideas and concern from its membership and don’t be divided because government who is our enemy will find something against us," Kunene said.
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