Protesting Zimbabwean health workers face jail after new law passed




Police arrested striking nurses and drove them to file charges at Harare Central Police in July 2020

HARARE – Zimbabwe on Tuesday signed a bill into law that outlawed organised protests by healthcare workers who could now face a fine or an imprisonment of up to six months.

The signing by President Emmerson Mnangagwa comes after health workers were locked in a protracted fight with the government over poor salaries last year.

Thousands of nurses and doctors at state-run hospitals in the southern African country went on strike last year demanding a hefty raise and wages in US dollars due to a slide in the local currency and steep inflation that eroded the value of their earnings.

An exodus of doctors and nurses has left Zimbabwean hospitals understaffed, with over 4 000 health workers leaving the country since 2021, the country’s Health Services Board said in November.

Many nurses in Zimbabwe earn less than $100 a month.




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