WINDHOEK – Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani said he will take the grievances of unemployed registered Namibian nurses to parliament next week.
During a meeting with a group of unemployed registered nurses who recently graduated, Venaani on Friday said he would table a motion on Tuesday to discuss their plight.
New Era reported in April that the budget cut of 6.10 percent for the Ministry of Health and Social Services for 2018/19 has negatively impacted the job prospects of over 343 nurses who were awaiting employment.
This, after health minister Bernard Haufiku confirmed in parliament that no new intakes are planned for the financial year. Haufiku said at the time that vacancies for nurses exist in his ministry, but there was no money to remunerate them.
About 169 recently graduated registered nurses from academic institutions and 174 registered nurses trained under the health ministry’s Project 2013, in response to a recommendation of the Presidential Commission, will not find government employment this financial year.
“You have knocked on the right door. From now, your case is not only your case as graduates. It has entered a national terrain. This issue of graduates without jobs will be a national debate by next (this) week,” Venaani told the graduates.
He also said that the party reached out to other unemployed graduates to hear their plight. Venaani spoke firmly against what he termed “missed priorities in this country”.
The PDM president said he is disturbed at the huge salaries that boards of directors rake in by sitting in meetings while many graduates roam the streets because there is no work.
“There is one thing that makes me angry in this country, such as when you are hearing that directors of Namdia are getting N$99,000 per one meeting. This person has a fulltime job as a CEO, running their own private life, but to manage a parastatal they are charging this country N$600,000 (N$594,000) for sitting for six meetings, which are two hours each and that is allowed,” remarked Venaani.
He said that the N$594,000 that goes to one board of directors for sitting in six meetings is enough to employ at least nine nurses.
“It’s a question of priority,” he said.
He also called on the private sector to employ unemployed graduates as part of their social responsibility.
“We have a robust private sector in this country. If you need a nurse take one of these young people so that we give them in-service training to gain experience. You are asked to have ten years of experience but you are never given an opportunity to gain experience,” remarked Venaani.