Covid-19 quarantine centres horror: Frontline workers cry foul

  • Frontline workers have no PPEs
  • Frontline workers say they are now susceptible to bribes due to government’s inability to pay allowances.

HEALTH Workers working in the front-line during the Covid-19 pandemic are crying foul after the government stopped paying them risk allowances as initially agreed, leaving them susceptible to bribes from absconders, Zim Morning Post can reveal.

This was revealed by frontline workers who blamed the government for the corruption happening in the quarantine centres.

 “I work for the public service commission and stationed at the quarantine centre and it’s sad to tell you that people are not being paid their risk allowances regardless of the fact that they lives are exposed every day,” said another front-line worker.

Front-line workers said the situation was deteriorating and there was need to address the problem as a matter of urgency.

Government is said to have promised ZWL$200 per day as risk allowance but it was only paid for less than a month.

“We were promised 200 bond per day but up to now nothing has been paid and it seems as if there is something fishy at the public service. We are at risk as we are working with returnees, we have no safety clothing,” said a source.

One quarantine centre has an average of 20 workers comprising of employees from the public service and social welfare.

Insiders said the employees from the social service are said to have received their allowances but those from the public service are yet to receive their allowances.

The lack of adequate protective equipment is exposing the front-line workers to Covid-19 whilst poor remuneration has led to corrupt activities at various centres.

Another employee working at a quarantine facility in Beitbridge said the officers had turned to corruption as government was not paying them enough to cover the risks incurred.

We are now accepting bribes from the returnees as we cannot take care of our families back home. I can’t risk my life only to receive peanuts as remuneration,” said another source.

Frontline workers said the failure by government to pay them risk allowance has facilitated the increase in number of returnees absconding from the facilities.

On Monday Ministry of information permanent secretary, Nick Mangwana, announced that there were returnees absconding from Beitbridge quarantine facility.

This is said to have exacerbated the number of positive cases over the weekend.