Nurse beats up patient

Anna Mungara (seated, short hair), a midwife in training, who attends the midwifery school at Masvingo Provincial Hospital, treats a newborn baby in the neonatal ward. UNICEF in Zimbabwe. Development of Fundraising and Advocacy materials for the Health Transition Fund. Masvingo, Zimbabwe. 11th April 2013. Picture by Jordi Matas/UNICEF

A NURSE at Silobela District Hospital in the Midlands Province assaulted a female patient who had just undergone a surgical procedure to evacuate incomplete miscarriage, accusing her of having been impregnated by her “husband.”

This emerged when Ms Ludia Nyamangondo (33) approached the Bulawayo High Court challenging the instituting of disciplinary proceedings against her for alleged misconduct by the Health Service Board (HSB). 

In papers before the court, she cited Midlands’ provincial medical officer, the chairman of the disciplinary committee and the HSB as respondents.

Ms Nyamangondo confronted Ms Privilege Mutambara, a patient who was admitted to the ward. She accused her of having unprotected sex with her “husband” resulting in her falling pregnant. 

Ms Mutambara was admitted to the hospital following an evacuation of retained products of conceptions.

Ms Nyamangondo was charged by her employer for misconduct in terms of section 44 (2) of the Health Service Regulations.

According to papers before the court, Ms Nyamangondo assaulted Ms Mutambara following an altercation over a boyfriend on August 5, 2017 at around 6.30PM. 

The matter was reported to the police two days later and Ms Nyamangondo paid an admission of guilt fine of $20.

In her statement, Ms Nyamangondo said she slapped Ms Mutambara once on the face. 

She said she was angered by the fact that the woman had unprotected sex with her “husband” oblivious of the dangers of contracting HIV.

“When I was informed by a colleague that my husband’s girlfriend was admitted to the hospital ward, I went to see her so that we could talk over the issue. However, when I got there we had a misunderstanding and I got emotional and failed to control my anger. I then slapped her once because I was pained by the fact that she had unprotected sex with my husband resulting in her falling pregnant,” she said.

“As a married couple, I have a duty to fulfil as a wife and because of my husband’s actions, there was also a risk of contracting HIV. To make matters worse, my husband is not even taking care of our child,” she said.

Ms Nyamangondo, through her lawyers Pundu and Company, is seeking an order barring the respondents from convening a disciplinary hearing, arguing that it is a violation of section 44 (2) (a) of the Health Service Regulations, which stipulates that she was supposed to be charged within seven days after completion of investigations.

“The purported charge was preferred against me after 28 days following the completion of investigations, which is a gross violation of section 44 (2) (a) of the Health Service Regulations and my constitutional right to prompt, efficient and substantively fair hearing within a reasonable time,” she argued. 

“Respondents grossly violated my constitutional right to be tried within a reasonable time by trying to arraign me before a disciplinary hearing committee for an alleged misconduct committed in 2017.”

Ms Nyamangondo said she was issued with a notice to attend hearing on March 4, 2019, which was however, postponed indefinitely after her lawyers raised several legal issues.

She wants the court to declare the disciplinary proceedings illegal, null and void. According to papers before the court, Ms Mutambara said they had an argument which resulted in Ms Nyamangondo grabbing her by the collar. 

“She (Ms Nyamangondo) came to the ward where I was admitted and demanded to know what relationship I had with her husband. I told her that I was in love with the man she purported to be her husband and that we were staying together. I also told her that the only thing I knew was that my husband was a divorcee who had two children with his previous wife and that is when we started arguing,” said Ms Mutambara.

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