High-ranking sex pests within the Ministry of Health and Child Care are sending female employees on financially rewarding workshops in exchange for sex, a workers’ union has said.
In a 16 May 2023 correspondence to the Acting Health Secretary, Zimbabwe Health Workers Union general secretary L. Sarai also accused department heads of grabbing work-related workshops intended for junior employees.
“It has come to our attention that there is rampant abuse of authority by heads of department within the ministry concerning opportunities to attend work-related workshops and other assignments with monetary benefits,” Sarai said.
“These leaders attend workshops which are earmarked for junior employees and in some cases, not related to their line of work.
“In most cases, invitation letters are directed to these heads, instead of passing these opportunities they then grab them for financial benefit.”
The union said despite attending the work-related workshops, the leaders are still too lazy to relay what they have learned to other staff members as per norm.
In extreme scenarios, the union said, a director attends a workshop meant to benefit a junior officer.
Upon returning, further claims the union, the bosses then task junior officers to either teach others or disseminate the information.
In more alarming cases, the union said some bosses were using work-related workshops to solicit sexual favors.
“It is very disturbing to note that opportunities that are meant for information sharing and learning are now being used in exchange for sexual favor by some male leaders,” the union said.
“We implore your good office to investigate this rot to bring culprits to account for their misdeeds.”
Attempts to seek comment from the Ministry of Health spokesperson Donald Mujiri drew blanks as he had not responded to written questions sent to him.
On her part, parliament’s health committee chairperson Ruth Labode said she had not been made aware of the grievances by health workers.