Fired Zimbabwe nurses offer free health care to public in protest

Nurses attending to the public at the Africa Unity Square in Harare,  Zimbabwe's capital Friday.

Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN)Fired Zimbabwean nurses offered a free clinic to the public in a demonstration outside the country's parliament Friday.

"We are doing this to show that we are for the people," Pretty Mugudza, a nurse based at Harare Central Hospital, told CNN after addressing members of the public who had gathered at Africa Unity Square adjacent to Zimbabwe's parliament building.
"All we are asking for are better working conditions. We can't be looking at patients dying in hospitals because we have no resources," she said.
"We really want to work, but we have been barred from entering our work stations," she added.
    Around 16,000 nurses went on strike Monday to press home demands for improved allowances and irregular salary grading system, its union said.
    The striking nurses were fired earlier in the week by Vice President Chiwenga who said they refused to go back to work after $17m was released to improve their pay.
    The government said the decision to sack the striking nurses would not be reversed.
    Health Minister David Parirenyatwa told CNN Thursday government has ordered heads of hospitals to recruit new nurses to replace those sacked.
    "We aren't going back on fired nurses. But they are free to apply if they still want to work," he said.
    Zimbabwe to hold elections in 'four to five months,' president says