A nurse in Harare was dismissed from St Anne’s Hospital after serving the institution for two years when her employer found out that she was HIV positive.
The woman was diagnosed with HIV in 2003 when she was employed at Avenues Clinic in Harare before retiring in 2006 due to deteriorating health. She applied for a job at St Anne’s Hospital upon recovery in 2010 and was asked to disclose if she was suffering from any serious illness including HIV. The matter came to light when she suffered a stroke in 2012 and St Anne’s ordered an investigation which revealed that she had not supplied important information about her health. The findings resulted in her dismissal.
The National Employment Council’s Appeals Committee ordered her reinstatement but St Anne’s challenged the decision at the Labour Court. While St Anne’s challenge was pending, the woman filed an application directly at the Constitutional Court arguing that her right to privacy in terms of Section 57(e) of the Constitution had been violated by St Anne’s Hospital. However, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, sitting with eight other judges dismissed her application, saying no rights had been violated.