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Nurses protests: 10 acquitted

By Silas Nkala

Ten of the 11 nurses who were arrested in June for allegedly contravening COVID-19 lockdown regulations after they gathered at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital (formerly Harare Central Hospital) in Harare to protest over poor working conditions have been acquitted.

Nurses take part in a protest at a government hospital in Harare, Monday, July, 6, 2020. Thousands of nurses working in public hospitals stopped reporting for work in mid-June, part of frequent work stoppages by health workers who earn less than $50 a month and allege they are forced to work without adequate protective equipment. On Monday, dozens of nurses wearing masks and their white and blue uniforms gathered for protests at some of the country’s biggest hospitals in the capital, Harare, and the second-largest city of Bulawayo.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Nurses take part in a protest at a government hospital in Harare, Monday, July, 6, 2020. Thousands of nurses working in public hospitals stopped reporting for work in mid-June, part of frequent work stoppages by health workers who earn less than $50 a month and allege they are forced to work without adequate protective equipment. On Monday, dozens of nurses wearing masks and their white and blue uniforms gathered for protests at some of the country’s biggest hospitals in the capital, Harare, and the second-largest city of Bulawayo.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Mbare magistrate Shelly Zvenyika freed them on Thursday after the State failed to prove that the health professionals’ conduct constituted an offence.

One of the nurses, Moses Sigauke, was however remanded to October 26 for trial on another charge of incitement to cause public violence.

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Sigauke is accused of posting social media messages on his Facebook account urging other nurses to demonstrate at Mbare Police Station following their arrest.
They were represented by rights lawyers Tinashe Chinopfukutwa and Rudo Bere. NewsDay

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