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.